Please help with your knowledge

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by shiela, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. shiela

    shiela Member

    My 34 yr old son has been in many hospitals in the last several weeks. He did well for awhile, got a good job, apartment near my many family members. They never called him or answered his calls. I was an hour away. He got very depressed and suicidal because his babies mom, whom he loves, found someone else. All this was tough for him and trying to be clean. When he was homeless in below zero conditions, no room at shelter..he layed behind a bush from the cold. A cop found him and called 911. That's when the hospital stay started. I am over 1000 miles from him. He called to ask only for a pair of underware. My 45 yr old niece said she would go to the hospital, but my sister told her not to. I am so sad and angry. Please help me through these feelings. He ended up in another hospital, no shoes. He is accepted into a Salvation Army facility tomorrow. By the grace of God. I am so pissed that my sister wouldn't see him. Please help me. I have not only lost a son, but, my sisters. They are alcoholics, thought they would understand. Feel so alone and afraid. Thank you.
  2. shiela

    shiela Member

    What has me so hurt,is that when my sons baby was born and lived with us, none of my family ever came to see her. She was an innocent baby, she was not in control of what her parents did. My sister told me it was different, No, my granddaughter was not different. Now, mom got to go to rehab with baby through Dyfys. My son, not. She won't let me see her, and my son is a mess. She put a picture on fb of her new boyfriend holding baby. He doesn't know of this. I am so sad and just want all of them well. I want my son healthy, and see my granddaughter. Thank you.
  3. shiela

    shiela Member

    What has me most hurt, is that my older sister lives with her drug addicted grown child and gives me grieve about my actions. I am the youngest of my sisters, I am 61, and am still intimated by their words. They have more money and can keep their family intact, I do not. I am the more sensitive sister, get hurt more. At 61, can i get a backbone? I just want peace and my son to live.
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I am sorry to hear that your family has let you down. Think of it this way. He has enough problems in his life without dealing with his alcoholic/ drug addicted extended family. They are probably doing him a favor by staying out of his life.
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I am sorry this is happening, shiela. The story about his being barefoot and sleeping in the bushes for warmth was very hard to read.

    Very hard.

    Your heart must be breaking.

    Some families of origin (like mine) are so very dysfunctional that they become invested in the failure of one anothers children instead of in their success.

    That too is a very hard thing to face.

    This is the stated reason for his depression, I think shiela. In reality, he may be depressed more because he is not the man you raised him to be than because a woman he did not love enough to marry took her child and left him to his own resources.

    Our sons (and daughters) do need to hear true things about themselves, if they are going to stand up to their addictions.

    This is all so hard to face.

    None of us wants to take on an addicted relative. It is too hurtful to watch someone we love self-destruct. When the time came for him to be discharged, that relative would feel responsible for taking him in or supporting him in other ways.

    We all must be strong enough to erect and maintain boundaries when someone we love is addicted.

    Their addictions will destroy everything they touch.

    Your son will have to do this on his own. You cannot do it for him. You cannot love him out of this, or he would already be glowing with health.

    You too need to protect yourself from his addiction.

    If you could help him by helping him, he would already be the man you raised him to be.

    Your son is in a terrible trap, and he will need to be very, very strong to get out.

    Sometimes, we direct our anger over our kids onto other situations in our lives. Could this be happening to you, shiela?

    I spiral into darkness and anger and strike out too, when I am grieving over my kids. I believe there is no force on Earth stronger than motherlove. And there is nothing, I think there is nothing, that compares to the grief a mother lives when her child is self-destructing.

    It is crazy-making, to hurt like that.


    Seeing your son at this point in his life would mean taking responsibility for someone actively practicing his addiction. It hurts to have family members look down on our children. But just as we cannot help or change or even, talk sense into, our addicted children ~ just as we cannot change one smallest thing for them no matter how much we love them ~ no family member can change the self-destructive course of addiction, either.

    Only the addicted person can do that.

    And that is a very hard thing, and the hardness of it breaks a mother's heart.

    Your son needs to stand up.

    He needs to stop hurting you.

    Maybe that is why they do understand. An addiction is an addiction. No one can change or help or even comfort someone actively practicing an addiction.

    Not even a mom; not an aunt or a grandma or a dad.

    Your son is in the best possible place he could be. He needs to beat that addiction. Once he does that, he will change his life.

    Until he does that shiela, no one can help him.

    I wish I could wrap you in my arms and keep you safe and warm and comfort you in this time, shiela.

    These are such hard truths to acknowledge.


    There is research out there which indicates that there is a genetic component to addiction, whether to alcohol or medications or street drugs.

    In that sense, your son is not altogether responsible for his addiction. But he is responsible for pursuing it.

    He is the one ~ the only one, shiela ~ who can change this.


    There is no real peace for the parent of an addicted child, shiela. What we can do though is learn techniques to survive the traumatic things that happen to our addicted children as their addictions take them over.

    Your son is safe, for now.

    Pray for his recovery.

    They say a mother's prayers are a powerful thing.
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  6. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I whole heartedly agree with this statement. In fact, the last people an addict needs to be around are other addicts.
    Here he will get the true help he needs to stay clean and sober. Be grateful he has this help!

    As hard as this is for you emtionsally, just hang in there and keep posting. We are here for you.
    When your family abandons you when you need them the most, of course it will leave you feeling hurt, lost and resentful. Try to remember that these people have some very dysfunctional way of living and that is why they act the way they do. They can not support you, not because there is something wrong with you, but because they use all of their own inner resources covering up for their own addictions.
    Look for the support you need outside your family circle. Maybe you should consider attending Al-Anon, a worldwide group dedicated to the support of families and friend of addicts. Being someone who is not addicted, puts you outside the circle because the last thing addicts want is someone sober around them to remind them that they are living their life in a dysfunctional way. Al-Anon can help you to recover you from this dysfunctional circle.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Agree with pasajes4. On top of that, your son has to learn someday that there are consequences for being a drug addict. He must have been an addict for a long time and it wasn't good judgment to make a baby. Unfortunately, with his history, even if he went to court, the best he could get is supervised visitation.

    One thing all of us have had to learn because it's the truth even if we refuse to accept is...we can't change anyone but us. That includes our grown kids, their baby mamas, anyone. We have 0 control over others. None of us, as hard as it is to admit, can save our kids or make them live if they are hell bent on self-destruction. I do not know your son's drug of choice, but some are hard to quit and burning desire to WANT to quit has to be there, even if they are under pressure or sad. Life isn't easy. You know that. We all know that. We would not be here if life was easy. But we aren't taking drugs because of it. That is on him. Nothing you do will make him quit if he isn't highly motivated.Is he using meth? Heroin? Both very hard to quit. It can be done, but they really need to be extremely motivated and willing to deal with pain and withdrawal. Medical supervision is best.

    Are you in Al-Anon? I find that a very comforting source.

    I am 61 myself and I changed a lot in the last decade and am still changing. I did not have drugs to deal with since my daughter did quit, but I had to deal with a son we adopted who walked out of our life completely and a very difficult 37 year old son..I have learned to be careful of how I allow him to treat me. He has rules; boundaries. I stick to them.

    In the meantime, you can do what I did. You can decide YOU are important in these exciting years and do what is best for YOU. You must have loved ones who are doing well and can love you and appreciate the good person you are. Hang with them. Do the things you love to do. Make sure you are busy and active. Do not check your son's will only hurt you. Get therapy. Go to Al-Anon. Start enjoying your life and remind yourself that your son is writing his own story as you write yours. You can't edit his story. Only he can do that so it is not worth it to give up the rest of your life worrying about him. Let it go the best you can. Don't get excited with each little triumph of your son...guard yourself...see if it lasts for over a year first. It doesn't help anyone if you get sick because you are so worried and neglecting yourself.

    I am so sorry you have this pain. It is and was never your fault. Guilt is useless, if you feel it (most of us do). Yet most of us older members are thriving in spite of our grown troubled children. You can have a good life in spite of his problems. It takes work to learn how, but it's well worth it. Hugs!!!!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Shiela, I am so sorry. You point out that in your family you are the sensitive one, I am that person in my family as well. In dysfunctional families, the sensitive one "feels" for the whole family, it is a very challenging role, we hold all the hurts.

    I agree with Pasajes. However, that doesn't make YOU feel any better, I know. It is a sad situation. The best advice I can offer you is to get help for yourself as soon as possible. Al Anon, private therapy, other 12 step groups.......put yourself in supportive environments where you can express that hurt and get heard and comforted. That alone will make a big difference. As you do that, the pain for you will lessen and you will learn tools to set boundaries around that hurt with the recognition that there is nothing you can do for those you hurt for and that your hurting for them does not serve them and it certainly doesn't serve you.

    It's a process to detach ourselves from those family roles we've had for so long, but it can be done. It sounds as if you've been surrounded by alcoholics for a good part of your life. That is a territory that is not healthy. You can't change any of their behaviors, but you have the power to change the trajectory of your life right now. You do not have to be impacted this way, however, in my opinion, you will need support to get out from under the weight of the sorrow and of the past.

    Shiela, pain in life is inevitable, suffering is optional. You're suffering. Find ways to let that go. You deserve to have a fulfilling life REGARDLESS of what the rest of your family is doing. You can love them and be detached from them at the same time. You do not have to suffer.

    I know how much it hurts. You have choices. Hang in there. Sending you big hugs........
  9. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    As hurtful as it is to have your family shun your son, it sounds like he wouldn't be good for them and they wouldn't be good for him right now. ADdicts aren't good for addicts. Your family can't take on your son. He has made his own situation, and he can learn from this, if he chooses to. The hospital and his own inner resources are what he needs to use now..not your family.
    I am sorry this is happening to you.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome Sheila. I hear you.
    It hurts like a real knife, over and over.
    Your son is a mess, and I have to say, I agree with-the others, while it hurts that your sister ignored him, your family does sound too dysfunctional to deal with him. It would probably make it worse.
    I'm glad that he is in a shelter now. Maybe being with others in that type of atmosphere will help. You never know.
  11. shiela

    shiela Member

    Thank you all for your words. Our internet has been off all day,just tried again to happily respond. This group is making my life manageable. Thank you. There was so much I wanted to say,but, it's late and I need too sleep. You are all a gift from God, bless you all and our children. Hugs around you.
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    This site has helped me so much too, shiela.

    I am glad you found us, and so happy the site is here for me, too.

    It makes all the difference, doesn't it, not to be so alone with everything.

  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Shiela, I am so sorry for the heartbreak you are feeling. I too live a 1000 miles away from my 33 year old son.
    I think your anger at your sister is a little misplaced. Your son got himself into the situation he's in. Our Difficult Child manage to screw up their lives and then when they are desperate they want someone to come to their rescue. You said your sister is an alcoholic so she would not be someone that could really offer your son any kind of positive help.
    The good news is that the Salvation Army will be able to help him but they will only be able to help him if he wants the help and does the work that is necessary.
    These difficult adult children of ours have broken our hearts but here on this site we find strength and support and our hearts start to heal.

    ((HUGS)) to you...............
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending hugs and healing for your battered and bruised heart. I know exactly how much it hurts to have family turn you away when you need even the simplest help from them, and how much it hurts to hear their idiotic justification for not being able to give you even the most basic of kind words. Rather than to be kind, or even decent, to you, they throw very painful and hurtful words at you in the hopes htat you will think yourself less and think that they are more.

    Don't let them succeed with this. Of course the words hurt. The idiot who thought up the phrase that "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me" was a bully justifying his horrible behavior, in my opinion. A teacher Jess had corrected the phrase and it sticks with me: "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can hurt forever." Your family knows this and they are using words to maintain their sense of power and superiority. After all, if they can still tell you how to do things then their family isn't as messed up as they are afraid it is. That is their thought process and that is why it is so important to them that you (and your family) be 'less than" in their eyes.

    All it does is make them feel worse, but they cannot see it. YOU can though. From this point on, don't ever rely on them for anything but hurtful things. Don't waste your time or energy on them. If they call, treat them like any other acquaintance. Nothing more or less. Then devote yourself to things that benefit you and your family.

    Why not spend some time and energy looking into your rights as a grandparent? You may be able to get visitation even if your son cannot. Don't push into the mother's relationship with her boyfriend or your son. Just concentrate on the baby and supporting her as a good mother in whatever ways you can with-o upsetting her.

    Let your son know you support him in his positive steps. The Salvation Army can be amazing and very supportive. If you want to feel connected to your son but you cannot physically be close to him, call the Salvation Army in your area and see if you can volunteer for a couple of hours here and there. Or see if a hospital in your area needs volunteers. If you cannot see grandbaby, maybe volunteer to help at a neonatal unit or in a children's hospital.

    Dn't spend time or energy on your unsupportive family. They are clearly not going to help you, and it sure sounds like they cannot cope with their own lives. If they could they wouldn't be supporting their own addicted adult children, Know what I mean?? Know that you have family here, and that we are always here for you!
  15. Childofmine

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

    Hi shiela, I am so sorry. I have found that in times like these, my best "family" support comes from al-anon people. They understand completely the complexities of it all. And the pain. And the grief. And the love. Please start going to alanon meetings if you can. You will find a world of help and support there. Keep going even if you feel disconnected from it all at first. Many friends and family don't understand and can't understand because their lives are so different with their kids. I have found that even people in aa have a bit different understanding than those in alanon. My exhusband who has been in aa for 8 years now, continued to enable my son for years past when I began stopping. Shiela we understand here. Keep posting and do nice things for yourself yoday. Turn it over turn it over turn it over. Warm hugs.