Just sad

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by katya02, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I haven't been around since late March when I posted about difficult child 2's alcohol issues. Since then we've had a rude awakening. In early May (just as exams started at difficult child 2's college) I got a voicemail that difficult child 2 left at 3 am, crying and sobbing after a bad panic attack. When I tried to call him back (didn't get the voicemail until morning) I couldn't reach him, and the student clinic said someone would go knock on his door. The 'someone' turned out to be a police officer - who, after difficult child's roommate told her difficult child was 'messed up', handcuffed him, took him to the station for questioning, searched his dorm room, and eventually charged him with possession and drug paraphernalia for pot. He admitted to also having used cocaine 3 times.

    difficult child 2 was in bad shape when I got there to pick him up - skinny, unkempt, long hair and a goatee, and was having panic attacks several times per day. He didn't manage to write any of his exams. The lawyer we consulted told us there are major issues with how the police conducted the questioning and search, and wants us to fight the charges. I wanted to at first, but now I wonder. difficult child 2 spent about two weeks having constant panic attacks once home, was contrite and tearful and full of plans to turn his life around, but six weeks on, we're not seeing much progress. The panic attacks have stopped and I think the Paxil the psychiatrist put him on is working well. He isn't depressed, although he can have rapid mood swings. He complains of insomnia, yet drinks caffeinated drinks in ridiculous amounts and becomes angry if I point out that caffeine will interfere with his sleep. He does very little each day - will help with a household chore if asked and given specific instructions, but with big chores he finds his 'symptoms' overwhelming and retires to his room. His symptoms are nonspecific tiredness and achiness. He tells me repeatedly that he feels terrible and 'depleted' but has energy to play video games. I think it's time for him to get a job, and I expect the panic attacks will reappear if I push the issue. He has had a lot of conversion stuff - weird shaking of hands and arms that isn't physiological, and swaying and collapsing that never results in him being injured; also staggering from room to room leaning on walls and furniture. His sibs were disgusted. husband and I ignored the behaviors and just told him to get on with what he was supposed to be doing, and not to lean on the walls. These behaviors have pretty much stopped now. but if he feels any pressure or stress they reappear.

    When difficult child 2 came home he read a book called 'Rational Recovery' and was very positive about it; he decided he shouldn't drink or drug any more and all was good for a week or two. Then he sneaked some alcohol (we have it all well hidden, so he looked hard for it); and in the past six weeks he's used alcohol about four times. He's also used up any benzos the psychiatrist prescribes way too fast, has used twice the dose of Seroquel or Zyprexa prescribed for sleep, and when nothing else was available he went through a bottle of 100 ibuprofen in three or four days. His addictive behaviors are still well in place.

    As difficult child 2 has become more stable, so to speak, he has returned to his old patterns of getting angry with me and blaming me. Last night he sneaked a good deal of gin and then spent a long time accusing me of betraying him, blaming me for all his problems, telling me his psychiatrist thinks husband and I have worse problems than he does, and generally ripping me apart emotionally. I didn't sleep much last night.

    In a week I have to drive him 3.5 hours to his college town for a pre-trial 'conference' where apparently a form gets filed, but he has to appear. Then a week later I have to take him back for a college hearing. I am just not up for this, but husband is working as usual so it's me as usual. I didn't even want to see him today, and he spent the day being ingratiating and cozy until I wanted to scream.

    husband listened to my account of last night's talk with difficult child 2, and was angry, but today only told difficult child 2 to work on his final project for one of his courses (his exams were deferred but have to be completed this summer). husband still operates mostly in denial, with occasional insight but it never lasts. He is content for difficult child 2 to live at home until he 'gets on his feet'. That will be never, considering his inactivity and endless WoW playing now.

    I think difficult child 2 is missing his old ways and friends and is looking for a way to justify going back to drugs by picking fights with me so he can blame me. I so much want him to turn his life around ... I know he has to be the one to do it ... I don't think it's going to happen soon. I'm just sad as I watch him choose not to take the chance of cleaning up that we've given him, and I'm sad that he's going to cause our family upheaval and mayhem just when our daughter was looking forward to a little peaceful 'alone' time with husband and I (her third brother goes to college this August so she was to be the only one at home); and I'm sad that, all his life, difficult child 2 is going to blame me for his problems. And I'm sad that husband doesn't get it yet, and that will prolong the upheaval at home.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I am so sorry that it has come down to this. It sounds very drug related to me. When mine is actively using, he appears much the same. He used his anxiety and panic attacks as an excuse for everything. I would have a blood test for drugs ordered, as I believe that he is using more than you think he is and more than he is willing to admit. Will they order drug and alcohol treatment for the charges??? That may be your only hope.
  3. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I believe Everywoman is right. All those patterns of behavior are quite familiar to me. In our case, after nine long years of alternately crashing and burning and living with us to get back on her feet, we finally concluded that living at home was no longer an option. The drama tends to subside when there is no audience.

    That 100 ibuprofen in 3 days is scary. I believe that stuff can cause permanent liver damage in such sustained high doses. It's a different chemical, but I know that overdosing on acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause liver failure -- we heard of a girl who died from it, thinking she could scare her boyfriend by a dramatic "fake" (as she thought) suicide attempt that turned out to be successful. She died awaiting a liver transplant. (Meanwhile, an aging rocker like David Crosby somehow gets a new liver when he destroyed his first one with years of alcohol and drugs.)
  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I wish I could get a drug screen ordered on difficult child. I'm sure he has alcohol on board more often than we know, and I know some of his old friends text message him a lot. He may be getting stuff we don't know about. He's very limited in his mobility, though - no license, no job, stays home and isn't allowed to go out with old friends. Dealers could bring stuff to the house when we aren't home, however.

    We won't know if the court will order counseling and/or testing until possibly this fall. The preliminary hearing has been done, and we have the pre-trial conference next week but apparently that's a minor thing (? this is our first time in the court system so i'm still learning). Our attorney said the suppression hearing won't be until fall. With difficult child's change in attitude I don't know anymore if I want to fight the charges, but we may not win anyway.

    I'm still persuading husband to insist on outpatient counseling for drugs/alcohol for difficult child. I think husband is partly worried about confidentiality, and is still partly in denial - may not want the open acknowledgement of the problem that enrolling difficult child in the program would bring. But difficult child needs it! I don't like the victim/illness model of addiction and in fact much prefer the approach of Rational Recovery, but difficult child still thinks he can live on caffeine drinks and tobacco and generally unhealthy ways and everything will be perfectly fine, and he needs someone other than his mother to tell him that's not so. When he went to college last fall he lived on energy drinks and chew; I think the constant use of stimulants was a first step into his drug use. He says pot helped his panic attacks, but he also used it daily for the high; and cocaine certainly wasn't for panic attacks, it's just the opposite.

    I agree that the 100 ibuprofen in a few days is scary. Very. I told him he could bleed out (GI bleed most likely), using it like that, but he doesn't believe me. He just grabs anything at all when his preferred medications aren't available. Tylenol is much worse, I know. I don't usually have it in the house.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending supportive thoughts and hugs. It really is overwhelming having to face such scarey issues on a daily basis. I understand.
  6. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    So after wondering and worrying about what difficult child might have on board, last night I found that he'd gone through the two cases of wine and one bottle of Canadian Club that we hid prior to bringing him home, and the CC bottle was there but empty while one of the wine bottles had had its foil cut, the cork pushed back in and the foil cap replaced. The bottle was half empty. difficult child has taken six or seven fairly expensive bottles of wine in the past year, but this is the first time I've seen the cut and replaced foil. I thought sealed wine was 'safe'. Silly me. :(

    So today at the psychiatrist appointment I'm going to bring up the subject of outpatient rehab and ask for a referral. husband is on the same page with this. We haven't brought it up as a necessity with difficult child so far, though, so this appointment won't be fun. Nor the ride home after.

    Are husband and I stupid for not getting rid of every drop of alcohol in the house? We have some wine we wanted to cellar for some time, and we like to be able to serve a glass to guests on occasion. I think that, if there wasn't a drop in the house, difficult child would just focus on something else (like the ibuprofen). Do people find they have to get rid of all alcohol, as a rule? Thanks.
  7. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I should add that when difficult child first came home in May, we cleaned out the wine rack and told difficult child there was nothing in the house. He accepted that and didn't search. But he overused his benzo prescriptions and sleeping medications, and the ibuprofen when nothing else was around. Then he obviously searched and found the wine, and despite my hiding it in different places, he has gotten into it three or four times. Every time he is tearful and apologetic and swears it won't happen again, and he gets angry if we challenge that. As the weeks go by he gets angry more easily, and is less and less remorseful.
  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Mine also uses pot to "soothe" his anxiety. He also overuses any other medications he is given, so I am his personal medication. dispenser if he ever has any. We do not do an anxiety medications because he will abuse them. Xanex was his drug of choice. Mine does not like alcohol, so if I kept it in the house, he wouldn't touch it. But, I quit drinking long ago and so that's not an issue. If you know it is an issue, then I would not have it in my house.
    You can not get your husband on the same page as you. He will get there in time. From this point on I would turn over the care and treatment of difficult child to him. It will help him get there quicker.
  9. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    We have a small fridge that we keep in our garage for alcohol that we want to keep cold. It has a chain and lock on it. For anything that we don't want to keep cold, we have a footlocker in our room that has a lock. medications are kept in there also. Our footlocker is from C&N Footlocker. My oder son's roommate in college had one of these and it looked pretty sturdy. I figured it could hold up to difficult child.
  10. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Thanks for your advice, everywoman and flowergarden. The psychiatrist told us to get a locking fridge of some sort as well. And he discontinued all anxiety medications and told me to flush whatever we have at home. He talked difficult child into agreeing to go to outpatient rehab, but difficult child was angry. On the way home he started talking about how I had lied (!) in the appointment, and finished by saying "F***ing liar!" to me. I stopped the car and told him to get out and walk home. He sat there in disbelief for a few seconds, then got out and slammed the door so hard the passenger window broke - at least, it won't go up more than halfway now. So he'll have to pay us back for that repair bill, but I don't see how he's ever going to pay us back the thousands that he owes us so far. The psychiatrist did tell him to get a job.

    I agree, the more husband has to deal directly with difficult child, the stronger a line he takes with him. husband has had to work so much in the past two years that he's literally almost never been home; but starting this month that changes. husband will be home a lot more, thank heaven!

    Today's the first time I've made difficult child walk home. I should have done it long before this. I thought he'd be gone for a day or two, but he walked up the driveway so quickly that he must have just walked straight home. Guess he didn't want to walk all the way across town to look up his old friends, and without his wallet and phone he'd have to walk. I've confiscated his phone. I don't see why we should pay for it every month when it'll only be used to call up his drinking buddies when he's mad.
  11. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Katya,

    Uhg...your son's story sounds familiar, my young difficult child, now in the US Army acted much the same with me, blaming me, being disrespectful and rude. I think you are SO right that it is all designed to make you the bad guy and his reason for using. An addict will certainly come up with all sorts of justifications.

    I think getting rid of the alcohol in the house is a good idea.
    Good for you for getting difficult child into outpatient rehab. You are facing his problems rather he is or not.

    I wish I could tell you that at some point they get more respectful and accept total responsibility for the direction of their lives but we are STILL wrestling with that one with our 19 yr old...who has a wife and baby! He still is blaming everyone else for the decisons that HE made....so sad.

    Just thinking of you and hoping your husband really does get to spend more time dealing with your difficult child.

  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Good on you for telling him to walk home!

    I would either get rid of the booze or lock it up as long as he is in your home. It may not seem fair, but it is entirely too tempting for it to just be there in his face. If you DO lock it up, don't be surprised if he tries to tamper with the locks.

    I hope he does well in rehab. As a recovering alcoholic/drug addict myself, I have a certain affinity towards difficult children with addiction issues. He is in my prayers.
  13. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am so sorry you are in so much pain. I can relate to almost everything you have said. I get blamed for everything as well. Why cant they just get that unless and until they start taking responsibility for their actions, their lives will never get any better??? It is so utterly frustrating!!! Dealing with our children is exhausting. Sometimes I turn all the phones off and stay in bed as long as I can because I just cant deal. I want out. It stinks that there is no out for parents like us. The roller coaster of emotions we ride daily is very tiring and drains the life out of us. Yet, we still must wake up everyday and fight through the pain and exhaustion to help our difficult children. It never ends.

    I dont really have advise, I just wanted to let you know that I can relate. Hey, misery loves company right???
    Hang in there and God bless. :)
  14. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hey, thanks everyone for your support and good wishes. I just got back from 7 1/2 hours' driving, taking difficult child to a court appearance. It went remarkably smoothly. Might have something to do with the fact that I flipped out at difficult child on the weekend (during our family July 4th outing) when he was rude to me twice ... laid it on the line that he could not do this, and that I was fully prepared to drop him on the side of the highway on the way to his court appearance if he offered any more rudeness or contemptuous behavior. And that if I had to do this, he would go to jail for missing his court appearance. He was shocked. husband was shocked (and depressed). But eventually difficult child apologized, and today he apologized again.

    One of the frustrating and disconcerting things in all this is that it feels like I have two sons - one, the sensitive, polite son of today who cried when he listened to the song 'Into the West' from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack; the other, the angry, abusive son who makes me feel all is lost. I've been reading David Sheff's book 'Beautiful Boy' in small doses - have to put it down often and cry because it hits too close to home.
  15. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Yes I read David sheff's book also. It brings back lots of emotion. I did read it to the end. At least it ends good!!!!
  16. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    <<HUGS>> I am so sorry, I fear 3 years down the road my difficult child I will be in a similar place if not in jail.
  17. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Thanks for the hugs. I need them tonight. :(
    I took difficult child around to put in job applications today; he didn't want to put in for full-time but I told him FT was best (for resume, plus psychiatrist says no reason not to go FT, and FT has the potential for benefits). We got home and easy child 2's college laptop and iPod touch had arrived and were sitting in the dining room. difficult child looked a bit upset about the laptop, but when he saw the iPod his face changed and got really dark. He snapped at easy child 2 to 'clean up all this cr**', meaning the boxes etc. easy child 2 said he'd get to it; difficult child then said, 'clean it up NOW' with a real edge to his voice. When easy child 2 said, 'Just go downstairs and chill', difficult child blew. He was across the room in a second and took two swings, both of which easy child 2 avoided, barely. Major shouting ensued that woke husband (sleeping between night shifts), who came out and tried to referee.

    husband and I ended up in a prolonged shouting session with difficult child; difficult child used his usual skill in deflecting and redirecting the conversation by accusing his brother of hitting their sister, by telling me I never hear what happens (I have a little hearing loss but I was right there today and heard every word; still, this is difficult child's usual defense/accusation toward me), and by telling husband and I that we make him the scapegoat for everything that happens.

    husband was completely taken in; I had to get him alone after and remind him that the issue was simple: no violence allowed. No distractions from the issue; just no violence allowed.

    husband is crushed and despondent at the thought that his family is disintegrating. I have been coping with this for many years and have reached the point where my tears and stress are exhausted and I know what's coming - even though I don't like it, it's out of my hands and in difficult child's. But husband went off to work tonight looking like a ghost.

    I know it's very tough to go through this with difficult child because he gets genuinely upset, cries, and accuses us of wanting to kick him out on the street with no help. He believes everything he says at the moment he's saying it. I don't like to see him cry either. But I have journal entries from when he was seven years old and would come home crying that the four year old up the street had it in for him and he had to hit the younger child, and now everyone is ganging up on him. This isn't new, I told husband. This has been going on for years, only I had to deal with it myself. So I have some objectivity when difficult child becomes upset. I've learned to stick to the point in order to protect my other kids.

    Near the end of the tearful tirade, husband asked me to give him a moment with difficult child. This is usually when difficult child sticks the knife in me; this time he convinced husband that full-time work might not be a good idea because he's afraid he'll have 'bad days' and be unable to do it. I reality-tested that with husband as far as husband would allow it, but we'll see how far husband buys into it. My priority for the next year is that difficult child must abide by our rules and the household must be peaceful. I will not have daughter (easy child 3) live in hell for her last two years at home. I think that difficult child will bring things to a crisis where he leaves, spewing anger and blame on husband and I; but it won't be very soon. difficult child knows how comfy he is.

    I wish difficult child had really hit easy child 2 today; I think he didn't, on purpose. He's very well coordinated. If he had wanted to connect, he would have. But that would mean me calling 911 and him going to jail. I believe difficult child knows that, but when I point out things like this to husband, he tells me I'm 'over the top' and paranoid.

    The next instalment won't be long in coming, I imagine. Bleh.
  18. NOLA

    NOLA New Member

    I'm sorry for what you & your family are going through. I can relate so well with the frustration that builds when our husbands just don't or refuse to SEE what is actually happening.

    Hang in there.........

    There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.- -- Washington Irving
  19. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Nothing tested my nerves more than when my husband was in denial. Hopefully your husband will resolve his denial soon and get on board with the tough decisions.