Having a rough day :-(

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by RN0441, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    My son has been in sober living/IOP for almost 3 months and has been sober for four months. YAY.

    Last week we sent his car to him because we had no place to store it any longer, he was looking for a better paying job which he would use the car for and we want him to stay where he is long term after treatment. He does like it there.

    He had been complaining about the place he was at for the past month for many reasons that are too long to go into but basically even though he was going to the three IOP meetings per week, working almost full time (making horrible money), following their rules and staying sober, he was not attending NA/AA meetings which are not mandatory and said some immature things to his therapist. I wrote about this in an earlier post. I ended up being in a few sessions via phone at this point. They even mentioned releasing him to me a few times which I felt was not appropriate.

    After my husband discussed the situation with our son, he was going to turn this around but it just seemed he was being railroaded by the therapist and the director - both ladies. Based on this he was on their radar so to speak. I know this is due to HIM but he was there to get help for being that way to start out. They even said he was not going to be able to have the keys to his car when it was delivered. We agreed to go along with that.

    My son then had the opportunity to go to a different sober living place with one of his roommates that he really liked. We decided to let him make the decision to go and find a new job. He said he knew he would be happier there. Of course I had concerns but felt as long as he was in sober living we were ok with it. I was so sick of hearing them complain where he was and him complain.

    When he got to the new place he was upset and not sure he made the right decision. We told him that he had made the decision so he had to make the best of it or he could go back to the place he was at. He then said the next day that he had really bad anxiety about the change at first but is now okay with it.

    The situation is now that he says he just wants to live "normal" and doesn't want to be in sober living. He was depressed at home and now does not want to use drugs. Most of the time he was sober at home but not doing anything with his life. We told him that this is all a process and we want him to stay in sober living for now where he has accountability and work steady for a while.

    My husband actually told him today to not talk to me about negative things because it gets me anxious and depressed. Our son doesn't seem to understand how this effects me. Like any mom I want my son to be happy and somewhat settled. I am glad he is sober but it just seems to never end. The stress and worry is overwhelming.
  2. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member

    I'm sorry you're having a rough day, RN. Do something enjoyable, just for you. Here are some dancing girls to cheer you on. :xmasdancers:
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  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RN, I know exactly how you feel. I get upset when my daughter tells me negative things or that she is unhappy but if I don't listen I feel like I am not being supportive.

    I finally learned from my therapy sessions is that it is not my job to make my daughter happy and it is okay for me to tell her that I don't want to hear her complaints or problems because it upsets me. I was told to direct her back to her sponsor or therapist which is what I do. I think your husband is right to tell your son to stop upsetting you. Part of being in recovery is to learn to stop being so self-centered and respect the feelings of others.

    Are you going to support meetings or therapy? It sounds like you need help with the stress and worry. You are doing very well with all of this . . . far ahead of where I was at your point in this sad journey but I think everyone needs help dealing with a troubled loved one.

    To be very honest, I see a bumpy road ahead. When your son first went to Delray, you were very happy with his sober living and IOP program. I don't see why the therapist and director would want to railroad your son. I also see red flags about him not wanting to take part in the 12-step meetings. My daughter was like that and always put down meetings but it was because she didn't want to be sober.

    For the first time, my daughter is participating in meetings and actively working the steps. She is also proud of getting her chips. She was excited to share that she had just received her 90 day chip.

    I don't know your son so I could be completely wrong and hope that I am. I just don't see that he is truly into the recovery process.

    I just reread this and don't want to make you feel worse. I just want you to reach out and get the support you need. I waited years until I finally starting seeing my therapist and wish that I had started years ago. It is the single most helpful thing I have done to help learn how to deal with my daughter and her issues.

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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2016
  4. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I have bad days too.... Having to live with stressful situations makes it tough at times...

    Hang in there. I was struggling yesterday, had a good talk with a trusted friend and had a better day today. ❤️
  5. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    RN , I feel your worry, my son hasn't been sober as long as your son but I'm not sure if the worry of relapse will ever go away. I think you did the right thing by having your son continue with sober living. Maybe tell him to first work hard and save some money if he wants a normal life out of sober living. That's awesome that you have your husbands support and he looks out for your well being.
    My son doesn't understand how his actions effect me either. He always says what's it to you, it's on me if I screw up. Oh if they only knew. I actually believe that we suffer as much or more than the addict.
    I agree with Kathy that it's not our jobs to make our children happy. Its hard to swallow though, it's our instinct as mothers. It would sure make our lives much better though if our children were settled and happy.
    I think you should enjoy a cocktail and do something you enjoy. Hopefully your son will like it at the new sober living soon, change is hard on anyone, maybe he just needs time to adjust.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, I agree with everybody else. He seems not to be committed to sobriety. But how could he be? Like me, you kind of forced the choice.

    His going to Florida and to the sober living house helped in a whole lot of ways, I think, apart from his seeming lack of commitment to sobriety.

    He is working, and self-sufficient. He is out of your house. He knows now that there is a way he can be sober, if he wants. He knows what to do. Now, he is the motor of his own life. All of these things are good things. Growth on his part and on yours.
    OMG. This is the hardest part, almost for me. When my son talks about how sad he is, or that he hates himself or feels ugly, something in me dies. It is almost as if I cannot bear to live if my son is in such distress.

    The thing is: I think they know. And that is part of why they talk this way. I think they want somehow to put the way they feel into us. I think we have to resist with all of our might, to not accept this hot potato. Their recovery, of self-esteem, of hope, of sobriety--is theirs to own.

    So, looking at it from this perspective, RN, you and he are on the right path. It cannot be another way until Son decides, he wants to go there.

    Now, I can talk a good game, but I am trying to force my son to stop using marijuana, which is his one true love. Our conditions for him to be around us (which entails him living with us or another property we own) is that he work with M every day, and not use weed. We also insist that he clean up after himself, which is a losing battle.

    When my son does not have money, he is compliant. When he does, he is not. We have told him we will insist on drug testing. But the loophole for him is that we know that there may be a one month period when he tests dirty due to past use. He is taking advantage of this 30 day interval to use, not understanding that we will throw him out.

    My son is homeless when he is not with us. On the streets. He has alienated everybody else and does not seem to have the incentive, or the where with all to get his own apartment, unless it is through us.

    I will throw my son out when the time comes to test him and he is using.

    I know that this dance we do together is not good on so many levels for either him or me.

    I seem to be unable to tolerate him homeless. I believe he is benefiting from our tutelage. But on some level I believe there is something corrupt about it on our parts and on his.

    I believe I am misusing my power by making resources contingent. I believe I am setting him up to be sneaky. I just do not know another way.

    I would not wish anybody to be in our situations (except for my sister.)

    PS That was only kind of a joke.

    PSS I wish I could make my son go to a 12-step group. That is kind of a joke, too. On me.
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  7. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    RN- kudos to hubby for telling you that advice, to not let son, rain on you with negativity. I think, in a way, son is slowly finding excuses to get out of sober living. My son would find a place, drama would die down, then it would slowly ramp up with his calls about the people he was living with until eventually he moved again. I finally said one day, you know Son, there is always drama no matter where you live or who you live with, have you thought about that? He causes lot of the drama. He gets anxious and edgy, needs to move on, like a wandering Nomad and I understand why- it's all he has known since he chose to live on the streets.

    Change is scary. He changed sober places, he is on edge, not sure if he made the right decision. He needs to stick it out- because so many times with our Kids, they bail when things get hard or uncomfortable for them, take the easy way out.

    He really should do the 12 program meetings. I have friends who still attend, who were alcoholics and it's been 20 years for them being sober. YOU need that support, a place to commune and share and reaffirm why you need to live sober.

    We never stop worrying, but we have to try, every day. I use to take things so seriously with son, get all ramped up, but now, I just sigh and breathe and say to myself, this too shall pass. I stop him dead in his tracks when he throws too much drama my way. I tell him, look I love you- but I have to go. I have to do this for me. My brain and emotions just can't take the overload anymore. That is my boundary with him, and it works for me.
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  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have a similar boundary with my son, and it works.

    It is that he is much closer into our lives now. And I cannot help but want more for him, from him.

    M and I know my son is changing for the better, slowly and in some ways. It is that my wanting gets waaay out in front. I hope too much. And then, I inevitably crash.
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  9. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    It is hard to rein in the helping when they are with you- near where you live and see often. I think I would struggle more if he was near me. No doubt. I give you Kudos for trying to be there but not there for him while he finds his way. For me son, is 5 states away so I talk to him on the phone several times a week. We have good conversations for the most part - other times, it's just he needs to talk through stuff in his head, I listen, offer suggestions, to take or not take, and I always say, but in the end, I know you will do what you want to do, and that is fine, you are 36 and need to make your own way.

    Yes, we have hope, but I learned to not have high expectations, I have low expectations, keep it simple, that way I don't crash and burn so many times anymore. Keep it simple and low by "today, he has a place to live, he is off the street". "Today, he sounds good, he is laughing and not ranting, psychotic". "Today, he calls to just say, what's up Momma, how are you and not asking for money or telling me someone is after him". I find joy in those "todays".
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  10. karisma

    karisma Member

    I love reading these threads! My son he's slept on the patio all day, he can't come in because he rarely showers, now he has some kind of attitude with me so I'm going to bed and he will leave and go where he goes at night. I have no idea where. He will show up tomorrow or not but I have had to learn not to worry too much or it will destroy me. Its harder because I see him so much that I have to try to stay unemotional while I capture and save the beauty and joy of the good moments, keeping them in my heart for the dark times that always follow. But I ignore him all day if he went to talk to me like he is trying to today. We will see what tomorrow brings.
  11. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Hi RN,

    In a way, it seems like your son is using emotional manipulation on you instead of Dad, to keep you enmeshed. He knows that you are the 'weaker' one where his welfare is concerned. So, he unloads on you. Or, I am wrong and perhaps he is truly depressed? Maybe his medication needs a tweak?

    Has he ever had his temperament tested? Do you think part of his temperament 'makeup' is that of 'melancholy' (one of the 5 temperament types)? Here is just one link on it:

    My son also knows I am the 'weak' one. Thankfully, he rarely calls me with 'depressive' complaints. But yay!!! Instead, I get the psychotic, drunken, ranting, hallucinating and/or 2am stranded 50 miles away down in South Beach and need a $120 taxi ride home phone calls, in the middle of the night! Yay me! :thumbsup: :eek: :thumbsdown:

    I think it was a brave 'move' that he made. I would say hold firm in that he must remain in sober living, if he wishes your help continue.

    As for the consistent complaints from him re: not liking living with others. What would happen if he went out on his own, ditched sober living? Does he have the funds to have his OWN apartment? Likely, no. So, he'd have to have 1 or more roommates. Minus the meetings, that is back to square 1. Where he is now, with annoying roommates.

    I hope you're managing a peaceful weekend. :tongue:
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  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You know, my son has a chronic illness, acquired at birth. We did not know until he was 19, and then his condition worsened when he was 20.

    When he left my home, I completely lost any influence over his taking antivirals. It was a nightmare for me. In many ways it still is. It was intolerable, the idea that I would lose my son, or that he become seriously ill and not recover, during my lifetime.

    I have no real idea of why I am posting here, except for a strong desire to respond to this part of WSM's post: what's it to you.

    And yet I do not know how to put into words, what I feel.

    How if I let myself think about it, the sun rises and sets for me, on him. The fear I would want to die in a world without him. That my life...in the end will only have been him.

    What's it to me? Everything.

    I guess I need to reread the article on detachment.
  13. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    Copabanana, everything to me too. I'm sorry you have this worry that's out of your control. Shew who knew being a mother would be so hard. Detachment is the hardest thing I've ever tried to do, I'm not there but I'm definitely way farther than I used to be. I think you are farther along too. Hang in there!!
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Yay you, is right. You are doing so well!!

    I keep thinking back to when I was 21, 22, 23--off the deep end. Nobody knew or cared.

    I am grappling with the fact that there were always difficult children--it is just that culturally things were different. Kids left home, and sunk or swum on their own. There was no internet--for all of us--hyper-involved parents to join forces.

    I mean, is there a difficult child without a doting mother? Or a recovering-doting mother? It is like the tree falling in the forest, or whatever that saying is. There needs to be somebody to hear.

    So that goes back to our kids shared need for us to "hear" their distress. There is something to this analogy. I just do not know what.

    I just took the temperament test. I am a melancholic too! Who knew?
  15. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Thank you, Copa.

    My primary temperament is also Melancholy:). Ha!

    Here is some copy/paste, much of it, is ME! I see you in there, too. Not that I 'know' you, but from what things you've posted. I'm also an empath or HSP (highly sensitive person)!
    I think my difficult son is a HSP, too!

    "The pure Melancholy for example is an introvert and a loner. Melancholies are more task oriented as opposed to relationship-oriented. Melancholies tend to be perfectionists and set unreasonable standards and goals for themselves and the people around them.

    Melancholies are very loyal people: to their family and friends. If they make a promise the Melancholy will keep it. Melancholies are very creative people, but are prone to deep depression. They are very private people, as well as very serious.

    They are self-motivated, and do not respond to the promise of reward nor the threat of punishment.
    Often they are not satisfied with only one chance at something because they feel they could always do better. They tend to take a more realistic viewpoint. A Melancholy knows their limitations and they rarely take on more than they can do.

    The Melancholy temperament is the most self-centered; their extreme sensitive nature causes them to be easily offended or insulted. They can be suspicious and jump to unfounded conclusions. They have the tendency to self-examine themselves to the degree that they become inactive, and unenergetic; over thinking everything can cause a variety of problems.

    Melancholies may be calm and quiet on the surface but they are often angry and resentful. They tend to keep those feelings to themselves until they build up and eventually the anger explodes in a fit of rage.

    Introvert, loner, great thinker, genius-prone, very artistic and creative, often found alone in thought, perfectionistic, slow-paced, great understanding of tasks and systems, a critical and challenging mind, and seeing both the pitfalls and the end results of a project undertaken.

    Extremely moody, suffer from “black” depressions, reject people, set standards neither they nor anyone else can meet, develop habits that are very hard to break, have suicidal tendencies, low self-esteem and are pessimistic.

    Good at decisions and responsibilities in known areas, very good leadership abilities. They adhere to the rules and they need very little control over the lives and behavior of others.

    Rigid, inflexible, sensitive to failure, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, apt to be a rebel and procrastinate.

    Very faithful, loyal friend and self-sacrificing. Their feelings run deep and tender (even though they lack the ability to express these feelings). They easily empathize with others and have the ability to make very deep commitments.

    They dissect the past with theoretical “what ifs,” i.e., “what if” he had given me flowers, I would feel loved; “what if” I were prettier, they would love me more. Also, they are critical of others, angry, cruel, vengeful, emotional, rarely tell people how they feel, have a low self-image and are sensitive to rejection from deep relationships. The loss of a deep relationship (even by death) is devastating to them."

    It said something about s*x too, but I did not include.

    In the next day or 2, I'm going to start a thread dedicated to "Temperaments". So, watch, wait for it......
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I can only identify with a few traits, rebelson:hugs:
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2016
  17. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Just a few..... like me! Hahaha! We will chat more on it in my 'future' (tomorrow) temperament thread!
  18. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    RN- so sorry for the misery your son's situation is causing you. I do so respect your husband for voicing to son that it's too hard on you. My husband also learned to protect me that way-he always felt more angered by my son's actions, I felt defeated, what caused turmoil for son also caused turmoil for me.
    I've not thought of it this way, Kathy's right. Detaching works in this for both sides.

    I too resisted therapy for years, thinking it felt like one more thing I had to do when I was doing so much. I'm not sure if we learned so much "how to deal", but we healed from so much trauma by voicing how far we had gone to "help". In putting it out there, I became so aware that our lives were out of control, totally focused on our son. Had we truly become so enmeshed that we almost lost each other? Such a shock to see this.

    Wow, so true. Steps forward in many respects.

    He is so young, he may turn this around--If he wants it bad enough. Don't let yourself go down that drain with him, be smarter than we were, we can't get that ten years back. I am healthier mentally, having accepted that despite what our son says, he doesn't change. He must still be having fun at this point. When it's not fun anymore, he will change. But that's on him and him alone. Know that many of us empathize with you today. You'll make it through, you're stronger than you think. Prayers.
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Yes. Me, too.
  20. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Thank you all so much for your thoughtful replies. I went back to reread my post...my "diary" so to speak.

    I did not talk to him all weekend except for yesterday to give myself a break. He is feeling better about living there now as of yesterday. And whomever says girls are DRAMA queens never met MY son! LOL

    He met a girl on line before he left Delray and she is a very nice girl, doesn't party and seems religious (based on my spying on her Facebook page). He has been spending a lot of time with her and I am very happy about that. He said she is a "straight shooter". She will be 18 in a few weeks (thank God, don't need THAT worry). He says she is a "very good person". Her father is dead and her mother is very ill but he's not sure what it is. He met her family this weekend. She has a grandmother that lives next door and an uncle and aunts that help out with mom. Very sad. I think they are mainly just friends. She looks very sweet in her pictures. He told me her uncle is wealthy and owns several rehab/sober living places in Florida. Imagine that.

    He is not working yet. He has been getting paid to drive his roommates to work etc. and I got on him yesterday about looking for a real job. My husband thinks it's okay that he is driving them for now and they are paying him a decent amount and that I need to let it be and give him some time to get acclimated to the new area. Son asked me where he should apply (OMG he's almost 21). He had applied to several places before he moved there but that's not enough. I told him to look into hotels, there are lots of jobs in hotels that he could do.

    We have not had to pay anything yet at the sober living and expect to hear something once he completes one week - per him. We are not sure about the exact weekly amount but have an estimate that we are okay with. He has been very good not asking for much money and living off his last paycheck. He seems to like it better at the new place and gets drug tested but no meetings are required. I agree - I wish he'd go to meetings but I can't make him do that, I can only suggest it. I wish he'd do a lot of things I can't make him do. I wish he'd go to church on Sundays (even though I don't go) and maybe he will some day.

    I love my son but I hate the way he thinks. Is it immaturity or is it just HIM?

    Husband and I are going on an annual trip to Fort Myers for a long weekend with friends we've had for 20+ years. One of them used to babysit my son. Son knows all of the people we are going with. He had known about this trip some time ago but I wanted to bring it up again because I figured he had forgotten about it. When I told him he said "I want to go!" and I told him it was only adults - they all have children sons age too. He said he is an adult but we explained it was a parent vacation. Ugh felt guilty but I know I shouldn't. We will only be 150 miles from him but will not be able to see him on this trip - guilt again.

    Honestly I don't even WANT to see him right now. Saw him in April and just want him to do what HE needs to do. We will see him in November and husband plans a trip there alone to see him before that - he has a lot more vacation time than I do.

    I cannot believe how much all of this consumes me. I did really well when he first moved and now I'm back to a place I don't like. I do plan to go see a therapist when we get back from our trip. I need to talk to someone because I'm driving my husband nuts. I think I have PTSD from son's past five years of "stuff". Husband says he is sober, has a place to live, has a car and has a girlfriend so what am I so worried about? I told him I only WISH I could be like him.