trying to maintain toughlove

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by standswithcourage, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Here is my new thread. It says what I am feeling. I need your strength as so many of you have given and I think i am going to be ok - so far. We will see what happens when he gets out of jail. I dont even know if he has any clothes to wear. The family he was living with said he looked pitiful when he came over to there house to get his clothes. She said his shoes were wet from walking in the rain. When I hear these stories about my own son I just want to cry forever. I cant believe he is living like that and then I think well if he was at home he wouldnt be living like this and put myself on a guilt trip - but that would be allowing him to use drugs in our home and have a comfortable place to do it. I cant help him kill himself no matter how he looks. Keep me in your prayers for strength and I will keep you posted!
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Susan, do you remember the first time your son decided that he was going to get some thing that sat on the coffee table just out of reach? He was about a year old, give or take, and had just learned to pull himself up to a standing position. He held on and cruised alongside the coffee table, and it was such hard work for him! He was huffing and puffing and there was a gleam in his eye, because he knew what he wanted and had figured out how to get it for himself. You knew you could just reach over and get it and hand it to him, but you didn't do that because you wanted him to learn to walk and to do things for himself. Sure enough, with hard work and a couple of bumps and bruises, he eventually got that thing. Soon enough he didn't even have to hold on to the table anymore.

    It won't kill him to have wet shoes. Maybe it will inspire him to decide that he wants to have a stable life with a roof over his head that he won't get booted from. It's within his reach if he will just decide that it's what he really wants and people let him get it for himself. Be grateful that his shoes are wet and he's miserable with the mess he's found himself in. Don't give him money or a place to stay for even one minute, let alone one night. Let him figure out how to keep his shoes dry and have a roof over his head. Unless you want to be that 70 year old woman living alone but for her 55 year old loser son who won't get out of her house and steals her jewelry to hock for drugs.

    Set yourself free.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He will live the same exact lifestyle at home, only he'll be home doing it and you'll still feel guilty. He will walk in the rain with holes in his shoes because shoes aren't important to him--drugs are. He will not eat (druggies have no appetite). He will look sickly (druggies look and ARE often sick). He will leave at 2am in the morning in the frigid cold to get his fix. He will ruin ALL of you, not just himself. One thing he won't be doing is getting better. A drug addict is a drug addict. It's all the same ugly illness, but only one person can help him--HIM.
    Why do you think he'll be better off in your house? He's 26? He shouldn't be living at your house anymore even if he wasn't a drug addict. He should be out on his own.
  4. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Thanks for the reality check. It makes me feel so much better to know that I am right in my thinking. I have been reading the Boundaries book again. It makes more sense the second time around. I wish he would find a purpose for life. I wish he would find out how good he would be at helping others. I know he needs to help himself first but I hope he does before it is too late. I just keep looking up. Witz you were right about the one year old. I thought how does she know I did that! It is a good exammple of how we act .
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Witz, you put that beautifully.

    Susan, we all grow due to what life deals us and the choices we make good or bad. As long as someone doesn't stand in our way.

    Kills me to know that k and the grands are living the way they do.....and it's as bad as I worried it was....They're existing, not living. I can handle it if she and her husband want to live like that, but it eats at me that their choices force the grands to live it with them.

    Still..........K has to want to make life better for her and the kids. I can't do it for her. I learned that lesson the hard way about 7 yrs ago. It's not one I'll ever forget, even though I'm tempted at times. And yes, I do get mighty tempted. So I focus on being a devoted grandmother to the much as I can be from such a distance.

    It's good for difficult child to be uncomfortable, cold, wet, and even hungry. Those things make you stop and think.

    Hang in there.

  6. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    OK and thanks.
  7. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I'm thinking about you ,Stands, hoping you can find your strength and value in this world. I remember watching my difficult child 2 sitting unprotected in a park during a downpour. easy child, who was about 6 at the time, asked me how I can watch him get drenched and could I please get him some dry shoes and clothes. I went home and got those things. difficult child 2 was oblivious because HIS addiction, a gorgeous hypersexual girl, lived in a dump overlooking this park. That's all he cared about, catching a glimpse of her. He didn't care that his little sister was worried or that I was tormented by his choices. Seven years later, he is still under the spell of his addictions.

    These are his choices, I cannot rescue him. I'm sorry you are going through this pain. I finally realize that I am not the cause of his misery. What a relief!
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I am going to jump in and send strength to you too Stands. You are completely on the right track. Just keep talking to yourself with the healthy verbiage, whenever you feel like your mind is taking a detour.

    I have a really hard time not feeling my sons feelings. It seems like I got an overdose on the momma bear hormones. Last night my son called me, crying, because his dad had just called him and was stoned out of his mind. He said all sorts of crazy things to Matt, and made him think I was in danger. The group home only allows one call a night - but he convinced the staff to let them call me.

    It just broke my heart to hear him so tormented and used by his dad. He has never had a good relationship with his dad, so he still sees his dad like a little kid would see their dad. Always wanting to please him. It sickens me.

    I woke up this morning just feeling physically sick and sad for Matt and all the pain his father has caused him. And yet I want and need to be free from Matt's pain. His pain cannot continue to be my pain. I mentally cannot take it anymore.

    In my move to Arizona - I have resolved that every step I make will be chosen to protect me from from toxic friends, relatives or people. And somehow I will learn to protect myself from feeling my sons pain on such a deep level. It is his father, his reality.

    It is all so hard. Hugs and strength your way.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I wish I would win the lottery. I wish L would feel like she had more to offer than to be someone's wife and spend their money. Wishing won't make it so. (Other than once in a while) wishing doesn't do anything other than get us all obsessed about things that we have no control over. Start making wishes for yourself that only involve you.

    Set yourself free.
  10. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Thanks Witz - you have given me great advice everytime - I will set myself free. Also to Steely - I have to hand it to you - I think your situation is more draining than mine. I will think of you and pray. It must be hard to see the relationship between father and son but you are right - you have to separate your feelings from his and live your life or you will go crazy and not be a help to anyone.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Once I cried because I had no shoes - until I met a man with no feet.

    Your son......has choices. So do you. Sending strength and encouragement to stay strong.

    There are a lot of things that I held myself back from the last year with Dude - advice, money, clothes, shoes, socks, underpants, food, my advice....and he was looking at 30 years in jail. I came here - I got advice - I listened -I stayed OUT of it and I am SO thankful.

    I'm more thankful that I listened when I hear Dude call and say "Hi Mom, just wanted to let you know work was okay, and I'm getting up at 5:00 in the morning again tomorrow."

    L.G.L.G. - remember?

  12. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Sometimes I just feel so weary that I feel I will give in. I hope I dont. I dont know what will happen. I havent heard from him at all. I guess that is a good thing? Who knows anymore whether tough love even works. I know I sound down and I kinda am but I will keep reading my Boundary book. I am trying to hang on but not knowing is what drives me crazy.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Not knowing is driving YOU crazy - NOT him. Tell yourself that if YOU do NOT give in, and DO NOT help him - he WILL find a source to help him - another person to live with, another person to give him money - another person to feel sorry for him so if it's NOT you - it will be someone else.

    THAT should make you mad as hades.

    BUT - if he is in jail - and the opportunity to grow up, take charge of his own life, make some plans about his release, talk with someone about seriously doing rehab and making A SINGLE CHANGE in his own life happens? THEN you support him. YOU ALWAYS LOVE THEM - but you do NOT support or encourage a drug addict with a flop house, and cash - when you DO? BELIVE ME I KNOW - the blame for failure belongs to YOU. His and yours.

    I'm sorry he's making you crazy - try to occupy your mind with something else - like a craft for your kindergarteners -

    Sending MORE strength......( you know what I think is funny....? YOU deal with tiny little annoying people all day long for a living and I WOULD chew my right arm off to get out of doing something like that)'re tougher than you think.
  14. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    OH my gosh Star that is funny! thanks for making me smile tonight. You hang in there too.
  15. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Keep it up Stands. You are on the right path! Live your life and do not let your difficult child take so many of your thoughts away from more plesant thing. You can do this ...yes you can! -RM
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Stands I know you feel like your weak, but you're not. You're much stronger than you think you are. We all have moments when we feel weak......or lost.....or unsure of what to do. That's why we come here, to help us thru those moments.

    You're doing just fine.

    Tough love works. You just have to let it work. It's not an instant result, but one that comes with time. How much time depends on your difficult child.

    How about your forget the boudaries book tonight.......forget thinking about difficult child altogether......instead, pop some popcorn and put on a movie that makes you laugh.

    You're doing just fine. You can do this.

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You have made SO much progress. You truly are stronger than you think. Tough love really does work. And enabling really doesn't work. But it IS hard.

    You seem to spend a whole lot of time thinking about difficult child and worrying about him. Is this keeping you from doing other things and enjoying your life more?

    How about for just one week you keep a rubber band around your wrist. when you find yourself worrying and wondering about difficult child you snap the rubberband once and direct your thoughts elsewhere.

    Try this for a week and see how often you are spending time worrying and wondering about difficult child when right now there is nothing you can do except love him and pray for him from a distance. And see how often you can redirect those thoughts into something more interesting. I bet you will find you have the time and energy to do something far more productive, even if it is just meditation to help relieve your stress.

    You really are worlds away from where you were just a few months ago. I bet your life is a lot calmer now. You truly are doing what you need to for him.

    You are letting him be an adult. It is one of the best gifts you can give him.
  18. Lori4ever

    Lori4ever New Member

    You can do this, it'll just be one of the hardest things you'll ever do. Yet still the best thing you'll ever do for both of you!!
  19. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    This is an excellent suggestion. Not only does it make you decide not to continue the negative thoughts because it physically hurts you, it helps you to recognize that the thoughts themselves hurt you. Soon enough, you'll stop.
  20. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Thanks all. I am going to visit my dad today. I will put a rubber band on! You guys could be psycologists(SP?) anyway - I have gotten the best advice here more than any counselors ever gave me!