So Drained

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mili62, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. mili62

    mili62 New Member

    My son is 29 yrs old is an alcoholic and smokes weed....His father and I have enabled him for so many years. When he drinks he gets violent and verbally abusive. ...I'm 62 yrs old and have lost my oldest son 12/18/05....He was doing toys for tots and died from a motorcycle accident... I guess I was continuing to enable my 29 yr old son for fear I would lose him too...I'm at a point where I'm so tired of his threats...His father wants to do a tro on him...He has gone to court before....Abusive to my husband...We bailed him out of jail and he was on probation for a year...Never gave him one drug test so he still would drink on weekends... That's pretty much my life right now...Could use any advise available. ..Thanks for listening.....

    mili62, Today at 6:57 AM Report


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  2. Quicksand

    Quicksand Member

    I'm in chaos right now with my 23 year old son, who has mental and drug problems. You can read my posts with the excellent advice the other moms have given me.. That's the best I can offer other than to let you know, there are other parents out here who truly understand how you feel. I understand and I feel for you and want you to find peace too. Hang in there and read the responses to my posts. ((Hugs))
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Mili62, glad you made it over to P.E.
    I am truly sorry for your loss, it is so tragic to have your oldest son pass in a motorcycle crash while volunteering for toys for tots. One doesn't think this sort of thing is going to happen. It must have been devastating for all of your family.
    I am also very sorry for your situation with your 29 year old.
    This is not acceptable behavior, even for a child. Your son is an adult, is he living in your home?
    You sound like you have a good start on what is going on. When we get stuck in enabling, it is filling a need within ourselves. Most times it is hard to see that, but you do. I tried to help my two, who's behavior got worse and worse. It didn't start out that way, just sort of snuck up on us, and before we knew it, started escalating. We began with good intentions, as you have, but it all kind of blew up in our faces.
    There is a way out Mili62, we do not have to be stuck on the wrong path.
    Here is an article that has helped me. I continue to read and reread it.

    So, loving detachment is key, to help us with our adult d cs.
    He has been violent and verbally abusive to the point where your husband wants a TRO. It is hard to do such a thing with our own adult d cs, but in your case, it is more than justified. His behavior is very disrespectful and unacceptable. Why should anyone have to fear your son, in your own home? No matter what the underlying problem is, it is not good, for you or for him. Can you imagine how the rest of his life would look like if he really hurt the both of you?
    It is the same with our two, the more indecent behavior we took, the more they dished out. It turned to breaking into our house, stealing from us and having an attitude of entitlement. It was a mess.
    From what you have described, it does not sound like your son will stop this behavior anytime soon. So, it is up to you to stop it. Stop putting up with his adult tantrums, put your foot down and take steps to correct the situation.

    I would be careful, and make sure you are safe, being that he has already been violent and abusive. Do you have family who could help you? There is a rise in adult children abusing parents.
    Make sure you have a well thought out plan, for your safety.

    It is not right, what you are going through Mili62. I do so hope you can get the support you need to take care of this challenge.

    Keep posting here, there are many caring folks who have been in similar circumstances.More will come along and post.
    You have value, and deserve to have peace in your home and in your life.

    You are not alone. Please take care.
  4. Childofmine

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

    Hi Mili and welcome to the forum. You have come to a good place.

    I think the straight out writing of this says a lot of good things about you. You know exactly what is going on with your son and with yourselves, and that kind of inward honesty is so good when we're faced with situations like the ones we struggle with here. That is the first thing that struck me in reading your post.

    I am so sorry. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to lose a child (I have two sons as well, and I'm just a very few years younger than you are), and I can so understand how it would be EVEN HARDER to draw the line with the second son. Of course you enabled him and that is understandable.

    You sound like you're sick and tired of it all. Mili, that is a good place for us to get to. It feels awful, but it is progress on our own journeys, and what we do (mainly what we don't do) gives them a chance to change, for the first time in a long time. They **may not** change anytime soon or at all, but once we get the strength to step back, there is room and air and space for them to do something new with their lives, because we aren't standing there with the safety net in our hands to save them yet again from their own choices, actions and decisions.

    As I am sure you know, addicts and alcoholics have a #1 focus and that is their drug or their drink. They will do and say and use anybody to get it, because the addiction has a firm hold on them. Until THEY get sick and tired enough of their own lives, nothing will change.

    That is where the change in us comes in. If we can gain the strength to set new boundaries and stick to them for a period of time (often a very very long time), and do it with kindness (that way they can't and don't focus on our behavior, because there's nothing to focus on...we have been kind as we said No over and over again), often we will start to see change.

    In my case, it took me setting very strong physical boundaries about phone calls, text messages, visits to my home, FB messages and any other communication from my son. It took me stopping it all. I had to stop hiring lawyers, balling him out of jail, saying yes to his request for money---this especially---I had to "let" him live on the street, stay in jail, be reduced to a person carrying a backpack down the street with nowhere to go...I had to learn how to do that, because I can tell you it doesn't feel natural at all. It isn't something a Mother ever wants to have to do.

    But it is necessary. I worked so hard, Mili. I studied recovery like I studied for a college course. I went to Al-Anon meetings, got a sponsor, read books, wrote in a journal, had daily practices liking writing a gratitude list...on and on and on. I worked hard to change myself, and over time, I did change myself and then I was able to stand more firm with my son.

    I hope you can find the strength to do this as well because I truly believe that our sons deserve that kind of love. The kind of love that says "No more." You are going to use me no more. You are not going to subject our relationship to the kind of behavior we have come to, after these years. We are more than this. You are more than this. And starting right now, things are changing.

    You don't have to change it all overnight, Mili. Go slow, and take your time. Two books you can get right now---Boundaries by Cloud/Townsend and CoDependent No More by Melody Beattie---are great and will give you a lot of good strength. Start going to Al-Anon if you don't already. It is wonderful.

    We're here for you. This forum is another tool. Use it as much as you need to. Read and write here, and there will be a lot of good, caring support for you.

    Warm hugs tonight. We do understand.
  5. mili62

    mili62 New Member

    Good evening Everyone....Thank you so much for the advise..It's good to have a place to go and talk about your feelings that I know you all understand...I haven't talked to my son since the incident. .....He's still at home...Has no has gone cold turkey with boose.. cigerettes and weed....He is a very selfish person...My husband took him to the store and got him stuff to eat...I think that is still enabling him...He was sitting on the carpet with a cup of juice...He accidentally hit it and it solit...He just wiped it with his hands...My husband told him to get soap and wash it off. He got so pissed off over that.. I guess he must be withdrawing.....I don't know what he dies during the day as my husband and I work....and my son doesn't. He was treated for a social disorder...He's been seeing different pychiatrst for 15 yrs....They give him medication but he just drinks with the medication. He has a new pychiatrst who gave him medication for bipolar. .....He hasn't acted up yet..That's why he's still lives at home...Worked twice but says his anxiety is so high he can't work...Plus he was drinking during his lunch... It's very hard to stay detached. ..but not talking has made it easier for me....Thanks for listening....Have a great evening...I'm born and raised in Maui, Hawaii...Paradise but still the same problems everywhere not just me
  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Aloha Mili62,
    I had a feeling by your name that you were in the islands, I am also, and so is Kalahou. We have found one another, across the stars, here on CD.

    I am sorry for your troubles Mili62, it is a difficult challenge.

    Detaching is hard here in Hawaii, because it is not recognized in the culture.

    My hubs is Hawaiian-Chinese. We have many 2nd cousins, ohana who are in the throes of addiction, actively using, and living with our cousins, kupuna or elderly parents. It has made life very, very hard for the family.

    When ohana ask us about our two daughters, there is often a puzzled look on their faces, due to our decision to lovingly detach. Especially where our mo`opuna are concerned. Our grandbabies are going through tremendous challenges.

    You know, we are the ones who have been living with this issue, it was, and is really up to us to decide what works.

    After so many years of the revolving door and the situation becoming worse and worse, we decided to say "No more." We decided that it was not our kuleana, our duty, to malama our d cs, in our home. There was no peace.

    We also are aware, that our adult children will have to know how to take care of themselves, we are in our golden years, and will not be here to pick up the pieces for them forever. We are not economically wealthy, to leave a trust fund for them. The sooner they learn to stand on their feet, the better, for us and them.

    There are many olelo noeau, that speak of the old ways of kanaka maoli, and the expectation to contribute to the family, and make a way for themselves.

    I am sure the fact that your son has an illness must make it more difficult to detach. I would think there would be services on Maui, that could help your son, learn to live on his own.
    What will he do Mili, when you folks are not on this earth? Have you tried any community resources? Have you tried this website? -
    I am hoping that you can find some answers for you and your son, that will help your family find solutions, other than what you are faced with now.
    I am sure that there are agencies out there, who would be able to help your son have a more productive, purposeful life.
    This can be stressful, I know. When my two were home, they would not get up in the morning. It made me feel angry, here my husband and I were working, it was like a vacation for them. My eldest would invite all sorts of friends over while we were at work. It was a bad feeling.
    Maui is beautiful Mili, I have been a few times, for paddling races, and such. I love Hana, though the car ride is hard (I get car sick). I have also done some volunteering and was able to visit Keanae many years back, working towards preserving Hawaiian communities.
    So beautiful.
    Mili62, I hope you are able to find some peace of mind and heart. There are others here, who face similar challenges to yours. I think my two, probably have some drug induced challenges with brain function and thought processing. They are definitely not making good choices.
    I have no control over their choices, just on my response. I definitely could not have them live with me. Not the way they have conducted themselves. Too hard.

    Take care Mili and keep on posting. Others will come along and share. Sorry I could not help you more.
    A Hui Hou
    Malama pono
  7. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Aloha Mili
    Welcome. I’m thankful you found this site. I have found the wisdom here a life-saving answer to prayer. The folks here understand. You are not alone. It is hard to begin detaching and to release your fear and emotion about your son. Especially with losing your other son, your deep love and concern and desire to help your difficult child is natural and understandable. But you cannot help him or change him. Only he can help and change himself, if and when he wants it for himself. Your job is to take care of yourself to get peaceful and stay in good health.

    Maybe something in my story will help to support you in some way. I am only new to this forum for 2 months, and I only had my own son vacate his room in our home a few weeks ago. But I know now that he has left, he cannot return to live with us again at any time soon, nor under any conditions of behavior similar to what he has been doing.

    I am in my 60s also. My difficult child is my 36 year old son. He’s never been diagnosed with anything, but he does show an odd personality trait now and then, and has never been a very happy person. He is now divorced after a marriage of much dysfunction, due in large part to his destructive and negative behavioral issues. A basic re-cap is that he had been living with us the last 18 months after his divorce, no real job for years, sleeping day and night (for days at a time), then disappearing for days, coming back only when needs something, getting traffic violations, shoplifting, lies, arrests. I kept trying to help him, by trying to stay upbeat and make suggestions, getting him a bus pass, McDonald’s cards, etc. And then each day when I returned home from work, he’s still sleeping and never gets up. Some days I actually wondered if he was still alive.

    Finally, I saw nothing I was doing or trying to “fix” was working. In fact it was getting worse, because I was just plain sick and tired of it -- like you said “so Drained” -- I did not want to deal with it or with him anymore. I was feeling resentful. I did not even want to see him anymore. He was not a nice person to be around at all. (My retired husband tried to avoid son during the day by staying out on the lanai.) At last, I realized I would not take this behavior from any non-related person. So why was I putting up with it from my own son? It was only because he was Ohana, and “no one gets left behind” (we’ve heard that often enough.)

    One of the turning points in my own detachment was when son called me early one morning around 7:00 am when I had just arrived at work. I saw his number on the caller ID, and had the old heart sinking feeling (again!) This time he was calling from jail, and asked if I could come bail him (again!) That morning I was tired, and it was raining, I was wet from the walk from the bus, I was hungry and had just poured myself a cup of coffee … So … “No”… I did not want to go anywhere (especially to do something like that for him which would not even be appreciated or change anything). I forced myself to be calm, took a deep breath, and calmly said “no, I am not going to do that for you this time, son. I wish you the best.” Son replied “OK mom. Love you.” (The “love you” from him I’ve come to suspect is a ploy at manipulation (?) Then several days later I got a text from him - “just checking in. I’m out of jail and OK. See you in a few days.” I did not answer the text. He did not show up for a few days, so apparently he was OK and survived his dilemma of jail with no bail just fine without me. Good.

    When I recently returned from a trip in mid-October and found him still in the bed, still sleeping, and still…..same old - same old - same old… We told son he could not stay with us anymore, but I knew he would not do anything to move out on his own. So my husband and I took it upon ourselves to clean his possessions out from his room (I put some few things in a shed in our yard). The furniture was all removed and I got his key back. I do not know what he is doing now or where he is staying. He does not communicate (that’s nothing new) unless he needs help to get his children (my grands) to come to our house so he can have a visitation with them. I am presently allowing him that much. He also called me on Thanksgiving Day last week to “check in” he said. I said “thank you” but remained cool and detached.

    You see, I did come to finally realize that our attempts to assist him were just enabling him to continue his ways without a need to change. His siblings had known it long before, and had been urging me to have him leave our house. They were telling me “it’s for his own good” but my mother’s fearful and emotional heart could not risk seeing him “out in the cold” (or here it would be "out in the warm" )

    Throughout this process, I came to the conclusion and realization that in the state he was in, our house was not a good place for him to be, and we as his parents were not good folks to be around him because we could not help him. It was not good for him. We were only enabling him to continue in the same rut.

    I know son is definitely not worse off being out of our home, and in fact he may be doing better. Perhaps he has some kind of job (?) or a schedule to wake up (?) or he has to plan now where to get food to eat (?) or where to sleep (?) Out of our house, he has to talk to people, which is more than what he was doing here. Even these small things to take care of on his own would be an improvement for him.

    This is a work in progress for me, as it is for all of us here on this forum. I am learning about boundaries. Coming to this forum each day and reading the posts and the wisdom in the different threads is helping me be strong and detached and content in my heart to know “I am going to be alright.” And I know my son is “going to be alright.”

    It’s all pono, Mili. Stay with us here. Others will be along too. It really helps to keep posting. Aloha nui.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
  8. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    P. S.
    Read this again what Childofmine said. I needed to hear this to. Thanks COM.
    On another post, COM defined it like this: “Detachment with love doesn't mean anything "mean" or unkind, it just means standing back from a distance and watching the life of someone we love, without interference.”

    Detaching does not mean you are turning your back on your son. It means you are stepping back, so he can move on with his life the way he will. Both parties are better off.

    Mili …. You are going to be alright. Just your presence here with us in finding this site and knowing you are not alone is a big step forward for you and your son. It is a new day. ( Ka la hou)
  9. mili62

    mili62 New Member

  10. mili62

    mili62 New Member

  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Mili, Just checking in with you. Hope all is okay. Take good care and post when you are able.
    Malama pono