It's all my fault

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by dalyce, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. dalyce

    dalyce New Member

    I am so incredibly frustrated with my son. He's 23 and, as far as I know, uses marijuana on a regular basis. He lives by himself and survives on government assistance. To keep the assistance he had to attend a course this week. He didn't go. Today he was meant to enrol for a course that starts next week. He didn't go. His reason, he was too anxious. Yet he manages to get out a buy drugs without any problems.
    I believe he is suffering mental issues, possibly bipolar. But he refuses to seek professional help. All our conversations are over the internet because he keeps smashing his phones (that he needs to apply for jobs) He blames me for everything that goes wrong. We threw him out 3 years ago for drug use. He hates me for that too. He is now asking to move back in. I tell him that is not an option.
    Today it was my fault because I made him angry, that's why he didn't go. If he lived here he would have. Oh yeah and I'd be wearing a straight jacket by now.
    He won't go to his courses because he wants me to pay for a course he wants to do. I refused because I've already paid for four he never completed. I'm stopping his dreams apparently.
    He seems to be boycotting everything so he'll lose everything and I'll take him in. Which will never happen while he's smoking dope.
    I drove home tonight from my full time job which I have held for 18 years feeling sick and trapped in a nightmare that just gets worse. The more I try and reason the more he won't listen. I am banging my head against a brick wall. Every time we get into another "discussion" I get a pain in my neck, I grind my teeth in my sleep at night, that is when I get to sleep.
    I know I need counselling but the only counselling available is at 7 at night in another town. I'm exhausted as it is. Feeling a bit disheartened tonight.

    PS(I don't know how to add my background to my posts ie who I am etc).
     
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Welcome! You are not alone. I know how awful life can be when our children choose to live without regard to others. You have discovered that trying to reason does not work and makes it worse. Stop trying to reason with him. Limit your contact. I know it is easy to say and hard to do.

    You deserve to be happy. Do something just for you. Find an Al Anon meeting. Others will come along that will have more to say. I know you love your son and would do anything for him, and I am sorry for your hurting mommy heart.
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there, hon. I am so sorry you are going through this with your son.

    In my opinion only, you should stop engaging your son so much and let him do or not do things to help himself. He is choosing to not change his lifestyle and is trying to put the blame on you, and the way he is doing it is more like a young child than a grown man. He needs to, in my opinion, make his own decisions and you need to step back and let him sink or swim. He knows where the help is and is choosing not to take it, because he doesn't want to stop using drugs yet.This is his life walk, not yours. You can not take it for him. Overtalking, nagging, begging, crying, etc. will not change him, as you have seen. He doesn't care what you want for him. He doesn't want it for himself. He wants his lifestyle, but he wants you to allow him to engage in dangerous behavior while he lives in your house on your dime. He is sort of doing th e old toddler trick of "holding my breath until I'm blue" to get you to do what he wants you to do, yet he is offering nothing in return. It does not sound as if he is ready to stop using drugs, get a job, and live in society in an age appropriate way.

    I highly recomend you start looking after YOU, and by the way you are a very important person. Step back from your son's chosen drama and maybe go to an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting to get some real life relief (and the cost is great...it's free). Or call the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill because they have help for those who love somebody who is sick, and addiction is an illness, albeit one that can be managed if the sick person is willing. The more you dance with your son, the more power he will feel over your life and the more power he will HAVE over you, while you lie away at night worrying about him and feeling guilty about his bad choices. You didn't cause it and you can't cure it (help me here, COM. I forgot the third C). You have 0% control over anybody accept yourself. And that includes your son. But the good news is you have 100% control over yourself, how you live your life, the way you react to other people and how you decide to go ahead and live your life, in spite of your son's bad choices. It is, of course, nonsense that you have a role in why your son does not quit using drugs. He doesn't quit because he doesn't want to quit. It has nothing to do with you. He is a man now, at an age where many are fighting for their country or working hard in college or some have full time jobs, even families. He is too old to be on public assistance, unless he is truly handicapped, and blameing you for his lack of a fruitful life. But such is the world of addiction.

    Be good to yourself today and go to a twelve step meeting. They woh't force you to talk. Just listening is enormously helpful. My daughter was a drug addict and the first few times I went to Nar-Anon or Al-Anon (they work in the same way), I just cried. I didn't even say my name. But I listened and learned and today, ten years later, my daughter is clean, but I have a very difficult son and I go at times just to remember that I can't change him and that I don't have to be miserable just because he is. Often it is BETTER than professional therapy. You don't have to be religious to get something out of it. I am more spiritual than religious and it was of enormous help to me and still is. It teaches us how to cope.

    To also be good to yourself, why not try a good read? "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie is an awesome read for "fixers" like ourselves. This book alone helped me on MY road to recovery from thinking everyone's problems are my fault and mine to fix. It set me on a new and different path with a brand new insight into myself and those who liked to walk on the doormat (me being that doormat).

    Try to breathe deeply and find some serenity and peace in your day. Start a healing path for yourself. You are not your son and, while you can hope he does better, you need to focus on yourself so that you can be there for yourself and your other loved ones and friends. Stress kills and it will not help your son one bit. If you step back from his game, he can't play it.

    Hugs and more hugs for your hurting mommy heart. Others will come along who say it better than me. COM? Recovering Enabler? Scent of Cedar? Others?
     
  4. dalyce

    dalyce New Member

    Thank you so much for your responses. I just wish I could pick him up and move him to a better place. I wish I could move me to a better place!!
    I just feel so powerless at the moment.
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You *are* powerless to change your grown child.

    "God grant 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."
     
  6. Childofmine

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

    Hi Dalyce, and I am so sorry that you are in this situation with your son. I so understand.

    Dalyce, you are sounding sick and tired of all you have been through to try to help him. If you are sick and tired enough, then that is a good thing and today is a very good day for you.

    I know it doesn't feel that way right now. You have tried everything, right? Multiple times? x20? Right? And none of it has worked. And then you sat and thought some more, and tried again. No results.

    We get it. We have been there and done that---the exact same thing. I love my 25 year old son very much. I can tell you honestly, Dalyce, that things did not start getting better for me, until I was willing to create some distance and some space between us.

    What does that mean?

    First of all, it meant letting his calls go to voice mail. Then waiting and responding to a text for at least 24 hours. Then, telling him we can only talk once a week on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. Then, telling him we can only see each other once a week for 10 minutes, sitting in the r, in front of the day homeless shelter where he eats breakfast and lunch.

    It was a process. It was very very hard for me to do this, but I was completely spent. I was completely sick and tired.

    That is when I started to get some peace.


    That's good, Dalyce. Right now my son doesn't have a phone either, because it got stolen. I think that is a good thing for me right now and for him as well. He can't call and text me at the drop of a hat. We have more space and distance.

    Even though he seems to actually be doing better right now, in his behavior and thinking, if not his actions, I think it is because he is having to stand a bit on his own two feet without me around so much. That is good for us both.

    And Dalyce, the person you describe in your post is not going to be able to keep a job right now anyway. So let that go, for now.


    And you are absolutely right. Your home needs to be your sanctuary. Loving an adult addict who is our child is hard enough. We can't have active addiction in our homes. It is impossible to deal with and to live with. You are doing the right thing, so hang in there.

    Very often, the more we stand our ground and say no, the more our difficult children will ramp up and create more drama and chaos in an attempt to get us to do what they want.

    Don't respond to him for a while. If he calls and texts, ignore it. Set some goals. 24 hours? 48 hours? Whatever you can stand, at first. Just make a start. Space, time and distance are all good things. Believe me.

    There is no reasoning with an active addict or a person who has another untreated mental illness. Addiction is a primary diagnosis and is considered a mental illness. Your son may have another mental diagnosis. Whatever the case, if he is not completely psychotic, like MWM said, and doesn't know reality, then HE IS RESPONSIBLE for his behavior. That is what the mental health professionals all say. You are not responsible. He is. And that means if he chooses not to comply with treatment, and not take his medications and go for therapy, then the consequences are his. Not yours.

    Keep repeating that to yourself.

    Like MWM said: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. The three Cs.

    It is way past time for you. You need to take care of you. You have tried to take care of him, and he doesn't want you to. He wants to do it his way. So...back off for a while. Let him do what he will do. You turn from your constant thinking about him, and turn that energy and force onto yourself.

    Start doing nice things for yourself. Start writing a gratitude list every morning. List five things you are grateful for today. I promise, it will change your attitude, if you will start doing this one small thing.

    Get enough rest. Take a walk. Sit in the sun. Take a nap. Buy some flowers. Take a day trip---just start driving. Read a book. Have lunch with a friend. Start taking care of YOU.

    Go to an Al-Anon meeting. The people there are wonderful. Keep going back. You don't have to talk at all or you can sob out your story or you can talk a little or a lot. They are very compassionate there, and they get it. It's free group therapy. It has saved me.

    This is a one day at a time life. You only have THIS DAY. What are you going to do with it?

    You will continue to get nowhere focusing on your son. He will do whatever he is going to do. If it gets bad enough, he will change. But not until then.

    Warm hugs. I KNOW how very hard it is to start. But once you start, and you start feeling better, you will begin to work harder and harder because feeling better is a wonderful thing, and you will want more of it.

    Keep posting. We care.
     
  7. dalyce

    dalyce New Member

    Thank you for your responses and fantastic advice. It just helps that there are people here who get what I'm going through. Will keep in touch. Xxx.
     
  8. dalyce

    dalyce New Member

    Just an update. It's crunch time. My son missed 3 appointments that would keep his welfare payments going. Part of him keeping his payments was a mental health plan to get him back on track. All he had to do was see a doctor and get counselling with a psychiatric once a week. I thought this was a good thing for him. He did nothing about any of it now he has no cash. I haven't seen him for a month now. My last visit was awful. He smelt and looked like unwashed dirty junkie. I'm refusing to see him until he sorts out his financial situation.
    He's ramped up the abusive Face book messages. He's like he is because of me, so he says.
    I told him I love him but I am no longer giving him money.

    There are so many other things he's done since I last posted. This is just a snap shot. So, tonight I feel terrible. I know I have to take a stand. But the nurturing mother part of me feels bad. The logical part of me says back off and let him sink or swim. I think he'll sink. I can't see him reaching the age of 30.
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your son decided not to keep his welfare. You didn't make that choice for him. If he is using drugs, he is not worried about anything other than the drugs and he will get money, probably illegally, from other sources. That's the drug life, or so my daughter says. It's horrible. That's why she quit. But many don't quit or take longer to quit than sh e did. WHEN they quit is out of our hands. Sending him money won't cure him or motivate him to get help.

    I would stop looking at his FB. They use FB to torture us. Unfriend him, if you can. Nothing positive comes from the horrible messages they post to us. It just breaks our heart. Interesting that he can afford the internet, but, like I said, they find ways to get money.

    Did you raise him to take drugs? I think not. If you didn't raise him to be the way he is, he KNOWS how to behave and is choosing to disregard your good parenting advice, like most of our grown kids do. They also tend to be unable to accept responsibility for their lives so they blame us. Your son is typical. They especially are furious when we cut off the money train, as we should. Do we want to contribute to their self-destruction?

    THIS IS HIS FAULT AND NOBODY ELSE'S. So what if he lies and says it's your fault? If he told you you had black hair and you had red hair would that be true? Would you hair turn black? He is feeding you a load of crapola to make you give him money

    I am carefully and gently also going to suggest that he is taking more than pot. Pot doesn't make you look like a junkie. Many drugs do, but pot does not change your appearance. I am not trying to scare you...just possibly hoping you can see the truth. Of course, I could be wrong...

    You can not control anyone but yourself, and that applies to your son. But you can control your reaction to how he behaves. No money is a good start. If he is nearing 30, he is way too old to be living this way and we do them no favors by helping them along. Any change he makes will have to come from inside of him. You can't steer his boat. It's HIS boat. And I don't care if your mother, your father, your auntie, your cousin, your kissing cousin or your best friends, who never lived with this, tell you what to do. Put their advice on "disregard." They are usually very unhelpful. If they criticize what you do, they are not on your side. Detach, detach, detach.

    Do you have other loved ones, such as a SO or other children or relatives and friends, who you are neglecting because you spend so much time obsessing over this son? Yeah, they suck the air out of our world, if we let them. How about taking care of one very good and deserving person...yourself? Are you in therapy? Twelve Step like Narc-Anon? Al-Anon? Have you done anything nice for yourself lately? YOU MATTER! You can't control your son, but you an learn to detach from his drama and live a good life, even if your son decides to continue to make bad choices. The only other option is to stay overly engaged, get frustratead that we can't help, give up our entire savings and see no return for it, and live in insanity.

    Is your son still living with you? If so, I'd consider giving him a timeline to leave, since he refuses to help himself. Does he steal from you? Is he abusive toward you? (Nobody should abuse you, even him. That is domestic abuse).

    There is a good article on detachment at the top of this page. I totally hope you read it and take it to heart.

    I am so sorry and feel so bad about your hurting heart. I hope the great community here can combine to give you some validation and ideas on how to handle this very difficult problem.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  10. dalyce

    dalyce New Member

    Thank you.
     
  11. Hope_Floats

    Hope_Floats Member

    Dalyce, have you checked with your employer's EAP? Many now are offering unlimited phone consultations as a benefit, and a few have one-on-one video conferences with counselors as well. That may help with the distance issue. When I first started struggling with my difficult child, I connected with a phone counselor twice a week after work and it helped me to maintain my sanity.
     
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