I give up....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ColleenB, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Soooooooo

    Found out tonight that younger son has failed two courses this term, his two core Computer science ones. Which puts him on academic probation, and makes it so he can't even switch faculties. He said he had a 90 going in, and I saw his marks, he did. But it's required to pass the finals to pass the course. He says he hates CS, and wants to do something else. Ugh.

    Older son got drunk this afternoon, we figured it out from his wacky texts, and just got home and went to bed.

    My poor husband is going to have a coronary. I rush I was joking. I'm scared he seriously has a heart attack. We have both worked hard, and given our boys lots of support and opportunities. To see them both fail is heartbreaking. Younger son got a B in calculus so I know he is capable. Older son is very smart, but addiction had taken a toll on him.

    We feel we have failed as parents.... Not sure how I'm going to sleep tonight and do my job tomorrow.

    Husband plans on taking the day tomorrow off and taking younger son into university to talk to an advisor. He also wants to talk with older son about his drinking. He was so angry and upset tonight. He was such a good dad, coaching, being present in both boys lives... He just is so upset and hurt. His own father was an alcoholic who never did anything with him, and he vowed not to be like him. He really is a good dad. I am so sad for him.

    I feel sad for me too, but I know he blames himself. I don't know what I blame... As there is no point in blame. They really were sweet boys who usually did well in school ( older son more than younger) gave us little in the way of attitude as teens so not sure where it went awry.....
     
  2. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    This doesn't reflect poorly on you. The fact that you're here is proof that you are a good parent. You wont see mine around here... You can only do so much. You can only put up with so much. You did everything you could have to provide them opportunities. They are luckier than many. You can't live for them. You can't make their decisions. The way you're feeling, and the way you're viewing this shows how it is just as important for the enabler to heal. The codependency. As much as you'd like to make it all go away, that isn't on you. You did your part. It is important that you can get to the point where you will help them in ways that is only beneficial to them, but your life shouldn't be dependent on the state of their lives. This kind of thinking is what gives way for enabling. Feeling guilty for things that aren't your fault doesn't help them, and certainly doesn't help you, or your husband. You raised them to be capable of making their own decisions. But they are THEIR decisions to make. Even when they are the wrong ones. Don't beat yourself up over something you couldn't control even if you wanted to. Let them feel the consequences of their actions. You need to do you. The only decisions you can control are your own. You are clearly a good, loving, supportive parent. You did your part above and beyond many, many others. It's their turn to do their parts. Or not do their parts. Either way, you should feel no guilt.
     
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  3. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    When you feel guilty about the mistakes they make, it denies them the only benefit of making that mistake. Experience.
     
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  4. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Colleen-

    One can be the best parent EVER & their child can/does still go down the wrong path. Try to be softer on yourself:).

    I haven't read all of your story, but after this new one...something became clear, in my opinion at least.

    Your older son seems almost stagnant. It seems as if he needs some motivation that he isn't feeling yet. A change. ;)

    It doesn't sound like you're ready to give him any real ultimatums...but in my opinion, I think he needs one (or 2).

    Also in my opinion, the younger one is being, has been more negatively affected by him, than may be apparent.

    I adore this saying by Anthony Robbins & text it to son often!

    "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
     
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  5. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    What are their ages?
     
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Colleen. Nobody failed. This is real life. It does not happen in an ever-upward swing. There is stumbling and falling down and getting up.

    What this site is about to me at least is recognizing that we can no longer treat our sons (I have a son, too) as little boys. My son was sweet and loving too, until he was not. Now after about 10 difficult years he is becoming sweet again. But he is no longer my little boy. He is a man.

    It is not hard to guess why your younger son may be suffering. He has been in tether with his older brother and it has cost him.

    I will tell you how I changed. I saw there were elephants in the room. That demanded to be seen by me, but dealt with by my son. Who needed to live his own life, deal with the consequences of his choices, and learn from them. Only then would he have skin in the game. There is failure involved until they learn, and decide to correct their course. That is what happened with my own son. He is now enrolled in a college course and seems to be trying hard. It took 7 years away from school to get this far. It was worth it. He knew best. I did not.

    This is not something a parent can fix.
    I believe nearly every parent on this site was a good enough parent. But I do not believe that raising children is like a piggy bank. What you put in, you do not necessarily get out. Our children are individuals. Creative, impulsive, brilliant, gifted, lazy, and every other thing. They get to pick what they do and where they go from there.

    Our job is not to handle them but to get out of their way. So that they can do the job of living their lives as adult men. It is not about us. It really, really is not.
    They are men now. That is the difference. Our job is to let them be men.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  7. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    [="Copabanana, post: 686086, member: 18958

    This is not something a parent can fix.
    I believe nearly every parent on this site was a good enough parent. But I do not believe that raising children is like a piggy bank. What you put in, you do not necessarily get back"

    [/QUOTE]

    I hadn't thought about the piggy bank analogy before, but it makes sense to me... I guess I've been a bit bitter that it doesn't work that way.

    Older son was looking sad and despondent tonight, so instead of sitting around being depressed husband and I went for a nice long walk. I invited him, of course he looked at me like I was nuts, I don't want him to think we ignore him.

    The walk was good for us. We have turned a corner where we are focusing on us for now. The time to fix is over. We are learning.

    Sigh....
     
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  8. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    by the way... I still have yet to figure out the quote feature
     
  9. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Heh, you are like my aunt with that. I tend to keep to myself. I don't intentionally ignore anybody, but I have developed a mild case of agoraphobia. But every single time my aunt or uncle go out to do ANYTHING, they invite me, even though I rarely join them. It's nice to know they are caring and concerned enough to keep trying, knowing I will most likely turn them down. I am sure your son appreciates it, too. Even if he doesn't show it.
     
  10. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Reminds me of a saying... There are those that enjoy solitude, but none who can survive it.
     
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  11. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Thanks for the reply....

    My son likes solitude too, but I know he is also lonely at times.

    He needs to feel connected to others, and I hope he finds that. He knows we love him. However I also know he needs others.

    I really appreciate your perspective Darkwing... It makes me feel hopeful.
     
  12. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    He and I have a lot in common, I think. I don't always feel lonely, but when I do, I feel it deeply. I don't have a real social life anymore. I have friends that I love, and who love me, but it's unhealthy to be around them. Still text and facebook, and they are understanding about it. But it got me used to solitude, to the point that I have anxiety from the thought of being around others. I can't really explain what about that makes me anxious, but it is something I have to consciously deal with when I am out. Of course, it is NEVER as uncomfortable or unpleasant as I think it will be, but that doesn't seem to matter to my body, I suppose. My aunt enjoys the performing arts, and every few months, we will go with her to a showing. I always dread it in the days leading up to it, but I always end up enjoying myself, and there is nothing I wouldn't do for my aunt, and it makes her happy. It is, quite literally, the very least I could do for her.
     
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  13. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Darkwing, do you think anxiety comes from the addiction, or drugs? My son has developed severe anxiety, especially with school. He gets so anxious he ends up physically sick at times before a class. This of course has resulted in him failing his courses ..... Again. Sheer will doesn't help him overcome it. Then he feels bad about himself, and thus the depression cycle begins again, and the drugs/alcohol.

    I wonder how he will finally be able to break it. You know I almost
    typed " how can WE help him break it" .... I know we can't.
     
  14. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    I wouldn't say you can't help him break it. It just needs to start with a decision that is his. Are you asking if I think the effects of the drug use has affected my mental and emotional state to this day? That's got to be true on some level. Opiates provide the euphoria they do because they force the brain to over produce endorphin. After sustained continuous use, the brain stops producing it on its own at all. So the only source for the endorphin IS the drug. The symptoms felt during detox is largely due to the brain's inability to produce normal amounts of it. It repairs itself over time, but until it does, it is difficult to find enjoyment out of ANYTHING. This includes activities I always enjoyed. Sex, for instance. I had no sex drive for a few months after I stopped the Suboxone. I cannot accurately say what the permanent effects of the drug use will be, as I can't really compare how I feel right now with how I felt back before all of this. I can say that I feel better than I have during the years of using it. That is an easy comparison to make. Maybe I am noticeably different, but not all the differences are necessarily a bad thing, either. I remember feeling like I would NEVER be able to find enjoyment out of anything. And it has been a long and slow process, but there is that point, where it is as bad as it will be, then it gets better. I am at that part right now. Sounds to me like your son is still right there at the tipping point. He may need to get a little bit worse before he gets better. But he isn't just gone forever. He may be noticeably different even after some real clean time, but we are shaped by our experiences. And not all of them are for the better. They are still apart of us. I hope he gets to this point soon. Before, I knew every day was going to be considerably worse than the one before it. Now every day is better than the one before it. Just gotta be willing to deal with the bad ones first, which is scary as hell for somebody who simply isn't equipped to deal with hardship in a healthy way. It's why rock bottom is so often necessary.
     
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your input is invaluable.
     
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Colleen, you highlight in blue what you desire to quote. Then you push the button Quote.

    Then you come down to the message box at the bottom of the page. On the left hand side there is a button, Insert Quotes...Push that and a box will come up with the text you want to quote.

    Another box will come up and you push Quote these messages. And then you will see your quote on the message.

    Now, you can quote multiple quotes and rearrange them, after you have mastered doing one quote, which is what I would recommend. If you want to practice here on this thread, or ask questions. we will all help you.

    It was hard for me, at first, and now it isn't.
     
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  17. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Colleen- my heart goes out to you. You are sad. For everybody. Isn't it odd, when they are young we say "boys will be boys" BUT NOW they aren't, they are men making man sized choices. Man sized choices with consequences, don't rob them of that part. Pick something small in the way of boundaries that you and hubs can both agree on and keep it. Keep it. It's definitely time for older son to move on and find his way-he's already "doing what he wants when he wants" isn't he? Is the support you provide simply helping him live this lifestyle? See if you both can switch from trying to control their behavior to something you can control -YOU. We realized after our son moved out (not by his choice) how utterly messed up our lives had become. Our home was a place of chaos for us all. Anytime we would hear his car come in we would shudder wondering "what next"? Drunk, drugged, angry? No sanctuary at our home and eventually we realized no way to live. We were sacrificing our home, our marriage and our sanity for his choices. When we gave up the illusion that we could/should fix it, we slowly healed. Prayers.
     
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  18. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Yes... This is it exactly. We are sacrificing our home and our marriage.

    Tonight I just felt so sad. Both boys are now on academic probation at university. We spent thousands of dollars, that we worked so hard for, and they both have nothing to show for it.

    Our whole house feels sad. It was never like this before. When the boys were younger, we had a fairly normal, happy life. Busy, but happy. I sometimes feel like my older sons drug use stole so much from us. All of us.

    I'm hopeful younger son can find his way out of his academic mess.

    Older son I don't know what to think anymore. This is the fourth time now he had dropped out or failed. He was such a strong student in high school and even his first year. Drugs have robbed him, and he isn't the same person. I hope he can find a way to be happy, or at least content. When I mentioned his younger brother failed two courses, he said " that's my fault too...." He is quite sensitive. Husband said he is only responsible for his own, and younger son is responsible all on his own too.

    Now it's time for us to start taking care of ourselves and our marriage. So exhausted.
     
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  19. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    Are you supporting the older son entirely right now? As far as a roof, food, gas, et al.?
     
  20. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Yes, we are. We have told them both they need a job asap.
     
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