The dreaded text just came through...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Wakegirl, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl New Member

    As I've been anticipating, I just got the text. I'll share with you what was said. And I'm not going to lie, I need major encouragement. I know I can't enable. I know this. But shutting your own flesh and blood out is possibly the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

    difficult child: I don't want to live here anymore.

    Me: You've made your choices. You continually break my rules. And the law. You are wrecking your life and I can't watch you self destruct anymore. Kills my soul. You were raised to know right from wrong, yet you continuously make poor decisions. Choices you have to live with.

    difficult child: I know. I hate it.

    Me: (over 5 texts) Evidently not. It's going over 5 years that you continue to walk the wrong path. All the help you've been given, all of the second chances. All of the scares from the law. And nothing changes. And if it does, it's 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. Your ways are dangerous. They'll end you up in jail or on the side of the road begging for food and money. It happens every day. Parents can only do so much. The ultimate decision is up to you. You can't depend on anybody else to make your life better except for you. Period. I kept you safe from harm, fed you, clothed you, and put a roof over your head your entire life, but most importantly, loved you unconditionally and instilled good morals in you. That was my duty as a parent. You're now an adult. Remember... Chicken sh!# or chicken salad.

    difficult child: I appreciate all that

    Ugh. Words or strength and encouragement are GREATLY appreciated! My heart gets me in trouble.
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Wake -- I 've read some of your posts and I haven't responded or introduced myself - I apologize. It's my crazy time at work and I wanted to write a heartfelt, welcoming post and do it "right" and I put it off and best intentions...mea culpa.

    Hang tough. You need to remember that there is nothing you could do to change him. You had only two choices - accept him and his behavior or stand up for your values and draw a line in the sand and speak up for YOU.

    It's so hard; because we are all searching for that 3rd choice - which is -- GET THROUGH TO HIM. But sadly, that choice is not on the table. It's just not available right now. So you either ignore yourself and accept him for who he is now and his ill behavior and give him the tools to continue the ill behavior, enabling his bad choices, or you stand up and say " no more, what you are doing is WRONG, and I am not going to be a part of it." At times like yours, I used to remind myself often "if you don't stand for something; you will fall for anything." I struggled so long with the idea that "fix him" was not on the table. I had to choose between looking the other way and enabling him or saying enough is enough. Broke my heart. It hurts, hurt then, hurts now, typing it here even hurts. I get it.

    And now I am going to sound harsh - and please know I am posting this with great empathy.

    Move forward. One foot in front of the other. You need to stop engaging him - especially by text - because that is just going to prolong the push and pull you keep getting stuck in. I too had that issue and i read and re-read the CD boards "phrases to detach" until I got the gist. It's really hard to detach, hard to say these things without feeling flippant or glib - but honestly - they do pay off. You can't change him; you have to change your reactions - especially if you want to stop getting stuck in old patterns. By using a phrase to detach, you are acknowledging what your difficult child has stated without dismissing it - yet you are refusing to engage on the subject or get dragged in. Think of your text exchange above and sub a few of the phrases for your responses. Just food for thought.
    Here are the famous phrases to detach:

    How do you think you should cope with that?

    That is an interesting theory, I'll be happy to reconsider my point of view when the laws change"

    "I'm so sorry this has happened again, but I am sure you will work it out. We are not going to send you any more money."

    "Well, I'm sure you'll work it out."

    "That sounds like an interesting idea."

    "Good for you, honey!"

    "How are you handling that?"

    "How does he/she feel?"

    "I'll need to talk to your dad/guru/dog about that."

    "I don't have an answer right now. I'll do some research."

    "Sorry, I'm on my way out the door right now and can't talk!"

    "I need some time to think about that. I'll get back to you."

    "That must make you feel good."

    "That must make you feel bad."

    "How does that make you feel?"

    "What's your opinion?"

    "I'm so sorry, honey."

    Again, I have so much empathy for where you are. No judgment, my heart aches for you. It's awful. I get it.

    Most importantly: You did not fail your son; you did not fail as a parent...

    I read this in a book (or maybe saw it here?) right after my difficult child left and I copied and pasted it into my journal because it spoke to me.

    " It is possible to be a devoted and conscientious parent and still have it go badly. You can do everything right and your child can still grow up and not want to have the kind of relationship with you that you always hoped you'd have. You can do everything right, and your child may still end up with a drug problem that costs you thousands of dollars and endless heartache. You can do everything right and your child may still choose the kind of friends or partners that you never imagined she would have chosen because these people seem so lost and are dragging your child into losing more. You can do everything right and your child can still fail to launch a successful adulthood despite being gifted and talented or possessing an IQ that most people would kill for.

    I hope you find some peace tonight.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wakegirl, I got that text one day about six weeks after we kicked difficult child out and she went to live with a druggie neighbor boy. She said she hated where she was living and begged to come home. It literally tore my heart out. I wanted to text her and tell her to come home and hug her and tell her I loved her and have us live happily ever after. I texted back much the same as you did to your son and told her she couldn;t come home because nothing was going to change and she needed help and we couldn't help her. She cried and begged and said she would do anything to come home. I told her I would support her going somewhere for help but that she had to make the calls and let me know what she found. She called the next day and said she found a sober house that she went to for five months and then got an apartment on her own. We have a very good relationship now but those few days were the hardest of my entire life when I had to turn her away.

    So I know somewhat how you are feeling and I wish there was something I could do but your difficult child has to do this himself. This is the hard part, the real tough love part. Everything you said to him is true. Nothing will change until he changes. Continue telling him you love him and will support him in getting help.

  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    One of those times I wish I could be there in real life to hug a board sister! This is really tough.

    I don't know if this is true for you guys, but here when q says he's sorry and will never do x again, I believe he believes it's true. If that makes sense. But I've lived this so long and know his issues and I never ever count on it. Sometimes sorry is sorry I got caught or please don't give me a consequence but it's not so black and white. My heart wants to think, maybe this time he understands. But until he's more mature and has more skills I know it won't just happen like that.

    Our kids have totally different issues but the effects have some heartbreaking overlap. I won't pretend to know the intensity of having to kick my son out....but have had to keep placement somewhere other than home in a scary corner of my brain. Even the thought kills me, I'd need every loved one around me. I hope you have some real life support but you have us for sure.

    You're helping your son grow. Don't participate in another chance for steps forward /back. It seems like now he is getting to that point....hopefully, where he might take a step to really dig himself out. I pray thats so. Listen to your SA sisters here, they'll have advice. Stay strong, your feelings are so understandable and being a true warrior parent sure involves making the hard decisions.

    You can do this.....{{{hug}}}
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Many of us have caved in and taken our difficult child's back into our home just to find out that nothing had changed. Please stay strong for your son's sake as much as yours. If he is heartfelt then he will be willing to get a job or go to rehab.


  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    You can do this. It isn't easy that is for certain. I am hoping he agrees to getting help. -RM
  7. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl New Member

    Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom. Your heartfelt empathy. Your just being there, and offering a shoulder, so to speak. I've been to counseling. Many times. I've read books. I've talked to friends and family. But until you've been in these shoes, or similar, nobody really knows what it's like. It's easier said than done, especially if you're not living it. To hear what has worked for each of you, has eased my heart, somewhat, that I'm only doing what's in the best interest of my heart, otherwise known as my son. I know it's a process. A long road. And the worry and spontaneous tears won't end any time soon. But I get the gist of it. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and that includes my actions and reactions. I promise I'm doing my very best. Forgive me if I post too much. Or seem weak at times. I'm praying for strength, and that's what each of you are giving me. I wish I could literally hug you all back. There's nothing more comforting than an understanding and empathetic heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hey.... defintiely dont worry about posting too much or being weak... we have all absolutely been there. Its a process and post as much as you need to, this is a very tough and heartbreaking time.

    I think you are doing great. My one suggestion is to keep your texts to him shorter.... and keep that door towards help open.... so a line somewhere about when you want to go for help we will support you. It may make you feel better to look into resources so you can give him a number to call. I agree he should make the calls.... but when it gets bad enough that may be a step he is willing to take, and he probably has no idea how to take it.

    Sp I agree dont let him manipulate you into letting him come back home with no action on his part.... but letting him know that if he takes positve action (ie getting real help) then you will listen seems like a good idea to me.

  9. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl New Member

    Thank you, Signorina. I'm so grateful that I found this forum, especially due to posts like yours. Everybody is truly genuine, yet matter-of-fact with their advice. It's so helpful in a time of desperation.

    I love the famous phrases to detach, and will start using them. I felt I said too much to him earlier, but in the same breath, I couldn't wait to be given the chance to say it. Again. I feel as though I have to constantly remind him, more so in these trying times, how much I truly love him and want only the best for him. But I know he knows. Which is why he's taken advantage of me and the help and second chances that I've given him.

    I look forward to posting my difficult child's success day, and will owe so much to this group for holding my hand along the way. I also love reading the success stories of all of the difficult child's of this group. It gives me hope, and thrills me that the parents are able to sigh in relief.
  10. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl New Member

    I agree. I need to be less wordy with him. But, as crazy as it sounds, it was almost a little relief that I got the opportunity to reiterate some things, since he's been gone. It's like I needed to do that to help me sleep a little better....knowing he knows how much I love him, and only want the best. Although I'm certain that he already knows.

    I have a list of numbers ready for him. Including the number to a recovery group for young adults at a local church. The leader is a recovering addict. Awesome guy. And my thought is that it may be of interest to him to talk to somebody that's been in his shoes. Not a therapist. Not a mom, otherwise known as a broken record, but a cool guy that has traveled the same road, and now helps lead others on the same path. A path that's closer to God. We'll see. I'm searching for any positive help that will help him.

    Thank you TL. You're always so wise with your words! I'm learning!!!!
  11. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member


    I'm sorry you are in this spot. I'm glad you are posting and taking care of yourself.

    i like that you are talking via text. It slows things down and lowers any anger. You can also read again later. I'd do that and would see things differently at times.

    Sig's list is excellent. I've learned to pick my words carefully and to hold back with advice in many cases. I know what he should do but he won't listen to me simply because it is coming from me. He chose to fall on his face instead.

    i don't see your son as dying to move out. I may be wrong but it smells more like manipulation to me. He didn't say I'm leaving...or I'm going to stay with X...etc. just my thoughts.
  12. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member

    Do you attend al-anon, etc.? Read any of their literature? It has helped me so much.

    I have two very close friends from my group. Both have stood by me through it all. Sometimes they carried me....or we celebrated.....or I got my tush kicked in a loving way. I don't think I would be where I am today nor would gag be doing as well without them.

    i understand about wanting to say certain things to him. Been there a million times. But, please try to find other outlets when you know those things don't need aired to him. Yes, I know he bought and paid for all of it plus some. Call a friend, post here, journalize, go to a meeting, etc.

    communicating with a gig is an art. It makes time. It's messy. But you'll get there.
  13. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi Wakegirl,
    When my son had just turned 18, and we had gone through all kinds of substance abuse hell with him, we had to tell him a week before Christmas that he could not come home. He was begging and crying, and I thought my heart would shrivel in my chest. It was the most awful, but necessary thing I've ever done, because he was so hardheaded and had to finally experience a consequence. It was not a fun place to be - I wanted to bore a hole through my floor, and just go in and hide. I am guilty of enabling big time, and that is why it was so hard for me to say and unbelievable for difficult child to hear, esp. coming from me. In order to save him, I had to let him go. It was a chance I had to take because there were no sane choices remaining. I was also so angry at him for putting me in that position in the first place.
    I can only offer my support and hugs for you on this awful road you must travel now. I'm wishing you peace and confidence and clarity. One day at a time, one minute at a time.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I think it is a huge help to have someone who has been there talk to him, when he is ready, instead of mom. We really dont understand where they are at in the same way, and they dont listen to us in the same way just because we are mom and they are trying in their own way to separate from us.

    And any wise words I have come from way too much experience with this. I am hoping at some point to have as much experience with someone in recovery. :)

  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Here is my response text to him, "what are you doing to change it?". We know the answer is nothing. He wants you to change it for him. If you do, you will cause his next downfall. So don't do it. Best parenting move here is NOT to save him from himself.