Will he fall?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lovemyson1, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    As of today as far as I know, he's been sober for 149 days. However, he had to leave his SLE because he wasn't following the rules. But due to his court order, he needs to complete his time in an SLE so he found another one. But this SLE is not as strict and he doesn't have curfew and stays the night at our house a lot more. Last night he came home and admitted to my husband who he was hanging with (a bad choice, drug dealer, in trouble with law) and he got punched in the face. We are concerned that he is starting to make bad choices again. Often I do see him home alone watchig tv and I worry that he is lonely and perhaps that's why he chooses to hang with his old friends. I don't know what to do for him. I want him to make the right choices but seems he doesn't. Will he fall? Will he relapse? *sigh* I'm just feeling worried about his future. He has been working and paying his own rent, but I still am afraid. Also, we are considering changing our code (that's how he enters our home) because he shows up randomly and often leaves a mess, house unlocked, lights on.. we are very picky about our home and expect things in their place, etc. He will be 21 soon, but he tells us we should be helping him out like his other friends parents do. If I added up the cost of our help, it would be in the thousands.. Just wanted some encouragement and sound advice from you good people. Thank you.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    One day at a time, one minute at a time, one moment at a time.

    There are no guarantees.Hanging around with bad people is not a good sign so be on guard, but there is no point in panicking. It won't do anyone any good. Bored or not, if you want to quit (and this includes everything from alcohol to any drug) you have to change your life and find new friends. The old ones WILL try to get you to drink/smoke/shoot up/whatever again. They will not just let you be sober while they aren't. My daughter was very lonely for a very long time after she finally quit, but many tries before that she was pressured to start using drugs again (and "getting drugs for me") again...until she actually left the neighborhood she was both too pressured to quit and too scared to quit.

    Changing the code is a good idea if your son messes up the house. Don't take any chances on who he may bring in wit him either.

    I wish I could say it sounds good or bad or either. Being very logical, all I can say is...whatever is...is. Or "It is what it is."

    Take precautions just in case. Don't ignore warning signs. You can't do anything for him, but you can play safe yourself.

    Pray a lot and hope for the best. It was quite a long time before we could believe our daughter really stopped using. There had been too many false starts. But she did it!!!! And if she did, anyone can! Her life changed dramatically in every way when she quit. She is not the person she was at all when she used. Nor does she know anyone or keep in touch with "the old days" people.
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  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    One more thing.

    I would not keep giving him money. No, not all his pals get free money from home, unless they are still in college. He's trying to guilt you. He has a job and in my opinion should learn to manage what he has.
  4. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thank you MWM. You always give me such peace with your words of wisdom. Really. I agree with what you're saying, I do. I just have such a hard time with the guilt he gives us. My husband is so tired of it and just wants him to grow up. Our daughters are so different and have it together. Our son just seems so un motivated and we constantly have to push him. He has huge potential but just lacks self-motivation. I don't know why he would take the chance to hang with someone who could potentially land him back in jail since my sons on probation. So crazy and difficult to understand. We are telling him if he doesn't text us before he comes over and if he leaves a mess, the house will no longer be available to him unless we open the door for him and are home. I'm so happy your daughter is well MWM! I still believe he will make it.. but there's always that doubt. Much love..
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Will he fail? He may. Statistics show that recovery has relapses, that relapses are a part of it. There is no way to predict it.

    I'm sorry lovemyson1, it's a hard place to be.

    From my perspective, the most difficult thing we parents of troubled kids have to face is the sheer powerlessness we feel when faced with the often self destructive behavior and choices of our kids. We suffer a long time under the illusion that we may in fact have some element of control. We don't. We have no control at all. Over our kids. Over anyone. That is a hard nut for us to face. It is so hard to let go of our need to protect and keep our kids safe, to run interference for them in the world so that they are not harmed. And, yet, we can't do that. It doesn't work.

    My suggestion to you is that you attend Al Anon, or Families anonymous, or counseling of some kind for YOU. While he is making his life choices, good or bad, you will need to learn how to respond differently and how to let go so that you are not dragged around by the choices he makes. At 21, he alone is in charge of his life.

    Worrying serves no purpose. Take it from me, the QUEEN of worrying. I had to learn to let go inch by inch, it was not easy, but really, do you want to spend years worrying about your son's decisions and having them impact your life in dramatic and chaotic ways that you have no control over? I placed myself in a therapeutic environment to learn how to respond differently and to learn how to stop that worry. It was having an extremely negative impact on me and those around me. Amazingly, I actually did learn to let it go. You can too.

    Whatever way your son chooses to go, whether he gets clean this time or 10 times from now, you need to find ways to be okay no matter what he chooses to do. Is that a tall order? You bet it is. But, when we live with difficult child's of any sort, their behavior can ruin our lives bit by bit over time.......so we parents have a choice, do we want to allow that to happen to us? Should you go down with his ship if he chooses that route? Do you believe that all that worry helps him in any way?

    This path we find ourselves on is a devastation, by any definition. It hurts. A lot. However, there are ways you can learn to deal with this which take you out of the suffering mode and give you tools to cope and tools to actually thrive. I am sorry you are hurting. It's very difficult to be on the sidelines watching our kids continue to make poor choices.

    Changing the code sounds reasonable. He should be responsible enough to leave your home in the condition he finds it. Anything else is disrespectful. Requiring him to meet your standards in your home is reasonable. His comments about your responsibility about his care sound immature. Thus far, because of your help, he is able to have a roof over his head and the help he needs. His inability to recognize that doesn't make it any less true. You know what you've done for him, hopefully one day he will too.

    Hang in there, get yourself some support and stay the course. Keep posting, it helps. I'm glad you're here........
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I agree with MWM and RE on the advice they have given.

    Of course you will worry about him, you love him. That being said, you need to love yourself first. When our children are young we always put them first but there comes a time that they need to care for themselves and we as the parents need to take our focus off of them and put it back on ourselves.

    this is nothing more than emotional blackmail, at 21 he should be taking care of himself.

    If I had all the money we spent helping our difficult child I would be able to retire early;)

    Changing the code to your house is a good idea. My only advice is make sure you explain to your son why you are doing it and keep in mind, (locks are for honest people). Locks did not keep my difficult child out, he would cut screen and break windows to get in. There were times I had to call the police.

    Hugs to you:grouphug:
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  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    You do need to love yourself first. This is a responsibility issue. It has to do with taking good care of ourselves, but it also has to do with money. Once we have every single thing we want, and have given to every charity we have the heart for, then, and only then, it is appropriate to throw money into the deep, dark hole that difficult child children seem to represent. We were prepared to send both our kids to whatever school they could have applied and been accepted to. Really, we were. Instead, we have spent close to those amounts on nothing at all. There is nothing to show for those thousands and thousands of dollars, or for the time, when we were young and strong, when we might have created anything, anything at all, with that money that we devoted to license reinstatements and fines and rent and replacing vehicles and court costs and all the ten thousand things difficult child kids somehow seem to need "right now."

    This was a constant refrain from both our children. There is a time when this is appropriate. But when you begin to resent the help you are giving, that is the time to tell the child, in advance, that you will not be providing assistance for day to day issues. Our son was especially vehement about the things we were not doing for him. This did make us feel guilty. But if you search further, you will find that in the examples your son brings up, the child in question is doing his part.

    Our son was not.

    Our son wanted:

    A duplex, so he could live in one side and rent out the other (and not have to work).

    Wanted for us to take out a second mortgage to set him up in a pizza franchise business.

    Wanted us to hire him as our contractor in the last house we built though he lived in a different state altogether and did not have a contractor's license or insurance, even in the state where he did live.

    Wanted us to pay for his S.O. textbooks (which we did ~ more than once) and, repeatedly, his rent.

    Give him a truck. Which we did.

    Let him move home again ~ this time with a S.O. and two children, one of whom is a bona fide difficult child already.

    Take one of his children to raise, along with difficult child son. When he is not berating us for not taking his children and raising them for him (while allowing him to live with us, too) difficult child son is berating me for being a bad mom and a terrible grandmother.

    difficult child kids seem to be master manipulators. They seem to know just where to strike, and they do strike.

    I am sorry this is happening to you, and to your son. I am so glad you found this site.

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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is such a defining moment of realization.
    When you help someone and they genuinely appreciate it is one thing but when you help someone who expects it is another. Most difficult child's share the belief that they are "entitled" which feeds into them expecting parents and others to help them when they get in a bad situation due to their poor choices.
  9. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thank you all for your wonderful, wonderful support! It's so helpful. Update is when he made his bad choice to hang with the wrong crowd and got punched in the face he now has 2 fractures in his jaw. I am so upset about this! But the worst thing is they prescribed him Norco which I have heard is highly addictive and much like the heroin he was addicted to. Needless to say, we begged him to not use it but he couldn't wait to get his hands on it. This is showing me that he wants that high again. Very disappointing to say the least. So we made the decision to make him leave our home, we will not allow any form of drugs in our home ever again. We said if you use ibuprofin 800 mg instead you may stay in our home. I looked him dead in the eyes and said, "son, you have come so far, please don't go down this road again" he said, "you're trippin, I'm in pain and need this". So, that's where we are now. I'm heartbroken that he didn't take a stand and say no to this drug. And I'm so mad that the doctor prescribed it, I believe his records show he's an addict!! Grrrrrrrrr!
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  10. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    One more thing, he said he called his SLE and they were going to distribute the Norco to him. Only 1 per day, so he thinks this is ok. My husband believes this is an opportunity for him to test dirty. This can just go straight down hill from here. I will take a deep breath, I will try to remember I have no control and I will do as you all have said to do and go to a meeting for some support. But I am sad.
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You made a tough choice, but given the circumstances, it's the right choice. And, you'll likely go through all kinds of doubts & upsets so going to a meeting is a really good idea. Going to a lot of meetings is also a good idea. Take really good care of YOU while you go through all this with your son. He is going to do what he is going to do, so now what is important is that you and your husband put the focus on you two and take it off of your son.......he is in his own world of his own making. You don't need to accompany him on this roller coaster, you can find ways to stay as calm and detached as possible. Meetings can help you accomplish that. It is sad. Of course you will feel that. You're doing a really good job, even if it doesn't feel good, you're making good choices. Hang in there lovemyson, this is hard stuff.
  12. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I think you made the best decision you can.

    You were very wise in giving him this option. I'm sorry he didn't take it.

    Hang in there!! You are doing great.
  13. Childofmine

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

    I'm so sorry, Lovemyson1. I absolutely do know how hard it is, and I have been right where you are with my own son.

    He spent five years at the bottom (or so I thought). Before that, he was on a downhill slide for years and years, starting in 7th grade with very minor disruptions through the first semester of college when he flunked out completely. Little by little his true lifestyle was revealed to me---thankfully I didn't get it all at once because I likely would have keeled over with a heart attack.

    Your son is in the throes of addiction. There are definitely at least two sides to the addict: the physical part of using the substances, and the compelling urgency to get it at all costs, no matter what you have to do---and then the spiritual/emotional/mental side of it---the victim mentality, pure dumb thinking, living in the moment and not thinking at all about consequences or the future, very bad decision-making and thought process. You may know that the experts say that people who become addicted stop developing, stop maturing. They are paralyzed in terms of their maturation to the time they started using. So a 21 year old who started using when he/she was 14 is still that same age in terms of maturity.

    That is a sobering thought, isn't it? I know my own son, who is now 25.5, still makes very immature decisions, even though---for today---he is working two jobs and is paying his own bills. His thinking is still "messed up," even though he may not be using drugs. His ability to deal with real life is still very compromised and he says many things that sound very naive or strange for someone his age.

    Our sons will likely relapse one, two, three...maybe more...times. Relapse is part of the disease.

    These are words to live by. Just for today---accept what is. Open your eyes wide and look at the reality. Breathe into it, relax and let it flow through you. Don't tense up against it. Don't deny it. Don't try to fix it, manage it, control it. Sit in silence with the truth of the situation and just be quiet. In time, your heart will stop beating so fast, and you will be more at peace, day by day, living into truth.

    My son has been out of jail this time---after 8 or 9 times---since June 26. I still don't trust his new life at all. I am figuratively waiting for the other shoe to drop at times---fewer and fewer times---as I continue to work hard on myself and on accepting him and all other people, just as they are. I fail a lot. But I also succeed a lot.

    Please reread what you wrote here. Read it again. He doesn't "give you guilt." He blames you (my son did too, vocally and consistently for a long, long time) but you are choosing to feel guilty and accept guilt.

    You have done nothing to cause this. Addiction is. It happens in great homes, good homes, mediocre homes and bad homes. With great parents and lousy parents. With no parents and a loving extended family of many. It is no discriminator. We didn't cause it, we can't control it, and we can't cure it.

    It isn't about us. It is a primary mental illness, a primary diagnosis, that requires treatment. You are not to blame here for any of it.

    You are describing my son here. A using drug addict or alcoholic has no motivation. They are only motivated to get their drugs again and again. Anything else is a mere obstacle.

    As my mother says: Worry is a fast getaway on a wooden horse. We have to learn how NOT to worry, but it is worth it. It takes accepting that our sons are adults, they are on their own, they have a right to make their own choices, and we didn't cause it, can't control it, and can't cure it. We have to let them go.

    You sound strong here. This is very solid ground. And changing the code is very solid ground. Your son is on shaky ground right now, with the pain medication. I would safeguard my home and my possessions and my heart. I would practice saying little, spending a lot of time in silence, practice waiting and letting go and detachment, and simply offer your love and encouragement. No money. No alarm code.

    Approach him with your arms wide open, and empty. Take care of yourself. Distance yourself physically from him if you need to. For a time, I would only talk to my son on a Saturday morning for 10 minutes between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. If he didn't call during that designated time, I would let all other calls go to voice mail. I am not suggesting this is right for you, but I had to practice this. I was getting call after call, text after text, FB message after FB message. I couldn't think, work, function. It was harassment. I put him on notice that i would accept one call a week during this time. It broke the cycle of harassment, and we were able to go back, in time, to more frequent conversations.

    Today, we text and call every few days. It is like a "normal" relationship between two grown adults. I don't ask a lot of questions. I don't pry into his life. There are things about his life that concern me a lot, but I am working hard to respect him, his choices, even though they don't make sense to me, and the fact that he is an adult. I also believe today with all my heart and mind that i don't know what is best for other people. That is something I had to learn, but I believe it today.

    Hang in there. Work on YOU. You are worth it. You can come through this to a new place and a new way of living that is filled with peace, contentment, serenity and joy. Regardless of what your precious son does or does not do.

    Warm hugs.
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  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Very well said COM.

    I love the

  15. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thank you all for your love & support and mostly your hard earned wisdom. So much excellent advice here from each of you and I plan to visit this page over and over again for encouragement. My husband is staying home from work today to try to talk some sense into my son. Poor guy he loves his son so much and has so much hope and expectations for him, I hope and pray my son does the right thing. But as you all have said, it really is out of our control.
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I think it would be three years ago now that difficult child daughter went crashing into addiction. She had been state-mandated into a gold standard (that is the term we heard used) treatment facility. difficult child daughter had been a math/science teacher in the years before the addiction and so, had a nice hefty tax return coming in.

    She must have been 37 years old.

    She had three children living at home. 13, 6, and 3. The ex-husband had gone to visit his sons for Christmas and rescued all three kids. difficult child daughter went homeless; was mandated into treatment. Had been approved for a second cycle of six weeks.

    And received her tax return.

    And when she got it, she escaped the treatment center. (State mandated, remember ~ treatment or...well, I suppose jail, maybe). Anyway, she wasn't supposed to leave there. She was talking to husband, justifying why she had to get out of there now that she had money again (the tax return). And I heard husband say these words: "This is your Dad. Do this for me. Stay there. Finish the program. Do this for me."

    I had never heard husband make a naked plea to either of our children, before. husband tends to be more: "That was stupid. Here is money. Go away."

    difficult child daughter left, anyway.

    She blew her money, wound up sick and living on the streets and calling and calling to beg us to pay for hotel rooms in blizzards when her feet were blistered and freezing and the temps (Minnesota) were way, way below zero.

    And that is what broke husband and I.

    And here is the strange thing that is happening to me as I recover myself and pull myself together. I was focused on guilty, was stuck in the horror of it, was just so broken when these things were happening.

    When I think back now, I feel that sense of time and water and silence that happens when we are functioning on instinct.

    Lately though, I am looking beyond that horrified, timeless place, that awful place where husband and I found the strength somehow to stand up and say no and then, had to live with it.

    And the child suffers.

    That so sucks.

    But just lately...I am seeing how stupidly cruel it is that we had to be exposed to any of that.

    I am seeing the whole picture more, is what I think I mean.

    It is an ugly story.

    I can't believe we are still upright. I think we are recovering well. In a way, I still can't believe these things happened to us, can't even believe how awful those nights were...those nights when we named ourselves people who would say no and had to belly up to the bar on that one.

    It was like being insane.

    It was horrible.

    Here is the message for each parent, here: It is horrible. Ours are ugly, ugly stories. But there will be a time when you do come back from it, a time when you too will reclaim your lives.

    I didn't know that, when it happened to us.

    I was in that place where water drips and time passes and there is no light.

    I think the point of recovery happens when we begin viewing our own lives with that same hope and depth of vision and compassion that we have focused on the lives of our wayward children. Until we begin refocusing, we are not aware that we are living for someone else, for our children.

    It must be a mother thing.

    Looks like I lost my chain of thought.

    But at least I have one.

    A chain of thought, I mean.


  17. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    This sentence really hurt to read. It is the raw truth and hard to swalllow. I really appreciate your words SoC. You have been through so so sooooo much as many of us have. Thank you for sharing. It is so un natural for parents to let our children suffer consequences so severe. But it is so necessary when our difficult child's allow drugs to control them at all costs. I wish I could dig a deep hole and bury every last drug and cover it with concrete so that no one would ever be addicted again.
  18. hopeandjoy66

    hopeandjoy66 Member

    What a thought. Taking back your life and giving your wayward children theirs. Compassion for ourselves,is to let the torture of watching our difficult children go so we can live our life with meaning finally.