36 hours after release from jail, difficult child is high and drunk...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by blackgnat, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    My difficult child son, whom I took to Colorado to start a new life, (I have a thread on here dated June 2013) recently spent 7 weeks in prison and was bailed out yesterday. He was arrested for second degree assault against the girl he was living with but this girl really IS unstable-not that my son was blameless, I'm sure.

    Yesterday he waived his right to a preliminary hearing (or there was going to be a 5-16 years mandatory sentence in PRISON) so that a deal could be made. His bond was reduced from $1, 000 to $500 and he was able to pay this due to money he'd saved (from a govt. issued card and money from grandma for his 25th birthday, which he spent in jail). So his dad, my ex, agreed to go get him and let him stay with him and his younger brother, who lives with him, for a few days.

    I spoke to my difficult child and he seemed genuinely penitent, confused as to whether he should pursue a trial. His public defender seems to think he has a good case against the girlfriend-even this girls mother, who is an attorney for the state of Colorado, went to visit my son in jail and was very emotional and crying, saying how much she cared about my son, how he had potential and she would help him with rehab and treatment, housing, etc. SHe told my son that it would be best for him to stay away from her daughter, as she would drag him down. This girl is a meth addict who seems to regularly pick up druggies and alcoholics and get very involved with them.

    So given the fact that my difficult child has been given yet another chance-mandatory prison time has been taken off the table in favor of probation and sober living, (he returns to court on Feb 28) and that he is full of good intentions, I have to wonder why I get a text from my ex saying that difficult child is high on Xanax and drunk. His brother read him the riot act and he left.

    I am a lurker and a reader of all the wisdom dispensed here, but I cannot for the life of me decide how to process all this. Yet again. I'm in therapy which is wonderful but I had a hard time with the idea of him being in jail in yet another state, especially with the prospect of prison hanging over him. Yesterday when we talked I had a relief that he was out and ready to really learn from this. I also had a feeling of doom that he would screw things up again.

    And here it is-if he's not in jail again tonight I'll be amazed. I have read the wonderful Detachment article but I guess I must accept that I will never have peace of mind about this young man until he's in the grave or until he is incarcerated again.

    I think I'm just venting-the disappointment and death of hope just stretches into infinity.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry. As a parent I think we really want so badly for our kids to learn a lesson that we believe them so often. I know I do. I keep hoping that THIS time he really means it. THIS time will be different. I think I worry more than he does.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Blackgnat, I may be remembering incorrectly, but didn't this son physically abuse you, too?

  4. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    first of all, I am really sorry you are in this awful emotional state of anxiety, doom, and despair over your son, mixed with hope--so consuming, so awful I am sorry, and I know the feeling well.

    second..what are you asking? sounds like he has all the tools he needs. He has a PD willing to work for him, a state attorney willing to help him, and an ex who is housing him (maybe not for long!). You don't need to do anything. The choices are all his, and, as you can see, he is making them. Do you think he would be making them differently if he were at your house instead of your exes? Probably not, right?

    He is 25, right? He chose to live with a crazy addict...when you sleeep with skunks you get sprayed. My son got arrested about 2 months ago and was crazed because he couldn't reach his girlfriend (they sleep under a bridge together) to let her know he was OK..all I could say was, darling, you have chosen a life where you are not a reliable or dependable presence to a woman or anyone...you ARE some one who can evaporate off the street. Your girlfriend IS some one who may also evaporate...you can't reach her because you both chose lives that are below the surface of the water...this isn't a lightening strike tragedy, it is the logical outcome of all your choices.

    And guess what...when he got out she was aroud for a few days, then ran off with some other drug addicts. All his anxiety for naught.

    I tell you taht because if your difficult child beat up his crazy girlfriend that he was living with (and that is not an excuse, by the way)--well he is choosing a life of crazy, that helps his behavior devolve, people who augment his own crazy...he is CHOOSING THAT. It isn't HAPPENING to him.

    I don't see that you have much role here, other than to respond to your exes txt with "thats too bad" and let it all go. Start your own sweet short life without letting his mess drag you in. YOu can watch with kindness from a distance. You do not need to engage, and engaging, as you know in your heart, won't help or change things.

    I'm sorry.


    Keep posting. We will ride along with you.

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  5. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

  6. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Thanks so much for your replies all.

    @ Janet-that's exactly how I feel-pretty amazed that he still hasn't got it and thinking surely this MUST be the time he gets it! Apparently not.

    And I think, to your point, Echo, I'm not really asking anything because you are correct-he DOES have everything he needs to make things right. He's been doing this crap for at least 10 years now and I'm pretty used to the chaos and have even had some success with detachment. Of course it helps ENORMOUSLY that I am in Illinois and he's in Colorado! Because if I hadn't dropped him off there last June I would no doubt be in that ninth circle of Hell again, knowing he was within "fixing" distance and going through the agony of having to say NO to him.

    He does seem to have a good case against his girlfriend, who has pulled this caper before with other guys, but that's not my real issue. The problems are his to solve and I guess what I'm doing here is trying to process as I write. Because 48 hours ago he was bailed out (he does have the money) and at his dad's apartment and ready to start wading through this crap with a good outcome. I told him that if he didn't learn from THIS experience (he could still face prison time if he decides to go for a trial) then he deserves what he gets. His brother offered to get his stuff from the girlfriend's apartment (she called and said that my difficult child was welcome to come and get his stuff, despite there being a restraining order against him-she apparently still "loves" him) and he was going to look for jobs, etc.

    36 hours later, he is high and drunk and little bro has kicked him out.

    Sorry I know I'm repeating myself but WHO DOES THIS?????? I already know this. I thnk I'm just venting, perpetually amazed and in slack-jawed wonder as to how a person can screw up. I had HOPE (tho I know this elusive feeling all too well) and now it's gone again.

    I think that's it-I'm just gobsmacked that he would be so stupid and self-destructive....maybe I'm wondering how many of us can relate-too many to count, I'm sure.

    And Cedar, yes, he DID put me in the ICU for 5 days back in 2010 with a bleed on the brain, which is why he'll never live with me or near me again. And I still love the person that DOESN'T do those things.

    Maybe that's what I'm trying to articulate here-I know what I have to do, but this time, for some reason, I can't get my head around the fact that I gave birth to and raised a man who would be so spectacularly self-destructive, when all the opportunities to change his behavior are CONTINUALLY presenting themselves! He just goes on his merry way, living in the criminal space. Does he LIKE this? Is this the easy way out for him? Or does he simply not know any other way to live?

    Thanks for reading and all comments are appreciated and welcome.
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Gobsmacked is a great word. I'm going to start using that when thinking about/discussing my difficult child too! (which I am trying to do less and less often)

    You are on the right track. Try to keep your feet steady. He IS far away, there IS little you can do...try not to use too much of your brain brooding about it, or before you know it will be night time again and you will not have seen the sun today

    Good luck.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I started a thread in Parent Emeritus about common traits of difficult child adults. See if you agree.

    Our adult kids never seem to "get it." They seem to have a block against common sense. They must know their behavior is toxic to themselves, but they count on us to bail them out if things get too out of control.

    I am sorry you are suffering, but glad you have distance between you. Your son knows what to do to make his life better (as most of our adult kids do). He hasn't yet chosen to walk that path and it is hard on our mommy hearts to watch them deliberately choose wrongly. Our hope has to be that one day they will get sick of it and change. it has happened to several adult children on our boards so never give up, but don't obsess over his decisions for now.

    I think you are doing really well. We are here for you anytime...on call 24/7...and all of us care about you. WE share common bonds that others don't understand...
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry that he is squandering this rare opportunity to avoid prison. It is so strange to the rest of us that he has a good atty, a state's atty willing to work with him, and family willing to help him, but he still cannot make decent decisions that would be so logical to the rest of us. Sadly, I think that is one of the cornerstones of building a difficult child life.

    I see this more from a sibling point of view, or a fellow member of 12 Step Meetings member, but honestly it seems to me our difficult children don't need to hit bottom to 'get it', thy need to bounce around on it like a basketball dribbled by an angry giant, then they need to dig themselves a dungeon under the 'bottom' and then shriek and moan and try to drag others down into the dungeon below bottom before they can start to accept the need to change their lives and their bizarre and awful thought processes and choices.

    The most the rest of us can do is to maintain firm boundaries and not get dragged down into that dungeon. I do hope that difficult child's brother informs the court that he has thrown out difficult child for being drunk/stoned. Yes, it revokes bail most likely, but it is what is expected and not doing so could cause consequences for his brother.

    I am sorry difficult child is continuing on the conflama train. Do what you need to de-stress and take care of you. he is an adult and is own responsibility.
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Blackgnat, what I hear in your post is your inability to understand how your difficult child can continue to live the way he does, continue to make the same bad choices and continue to create the same result. I also hear that in spite of all of that, you expect something different. I think that is what we parents do for a very long time..............we can't relate to what they do and we can't accept who they have turned out to be. And, we suffer in that. We are railing against reality. It's like hitting the same brick wall over and over again.

    You have to really look at the truth of the situation here, he is who he is. That was very hard to me too. Make your goal acceptance of what is. Accept him for who he is. Not to forgive it or condone it or in any way agree with it, but you cannot change it and he isn't changing it, so all you can do is let go and accept what is. Accepting what is, is the hard part for us, we think WE can change it or make it different, but we can't. He is NOT the son you cared for when he was a child, he has morphed into someone else.............it's this person you can't accept. I know, I went through that too...............it's still difficult for me to see my difficult child as who she really is............but that is the truth. And, when I finally accepted that, MY LIFE got easier.
  11. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    It is so extremely hard to understand what reasoning is behind their choices, or lack of.

    My difficult child is older than yours and STILL is not able to connect the dots. He still has an off and on relationship with a female difficult child that is a disaster. They fight, he threatens suicide and cuts himself, and still get back together. All of his friends (the ones still speaking to him) and family (the ones still speaking to him) have told him he needs to leave her, he can do so much better.

    For whatever the attraction , in my opinion they are both just like, but she does like to control and he follows. At this point I have zero ways to communicate with my difficult child again. He likes to disappear when they have a fight and split up.

    After a year of no contact with my difficult child (his choice) I took the time to focus on me, and after he contacted me he was working. If he is not doing better, I am!

    It is amazing how they can make the same bad choices over and over and not learn from them. Another thing I have noticed in difficult children is how immature and self absorbed they are.

    You can not change they past and you can not change him, you can only take care of you. If anyone had told me I would have a son that behaved like mine I never would have believed them.

    We all know how hard this is, take care of you.
  12. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    It's like dominoes. One realization leads to another and to another and to another, and one day, you are better. It is a slow, slow process, and we have to be gentle with ourselves and each other. This board does a great job with that.

    First, acceptance of who our loved ones have shown themselves to be (the longest and hardest part of the journey). They are who they are. Sometimes I forget all of the incidents. I wish I had written them down as they happened, this history. I do have journals with bits and pieces and stories of the decline of my son's life over the past 10 years.

    Second, that they may always be this way. I used to think that one day, he would GET IT, then TURN, and walk in a NEW DIRECTION. I spent a lot of time waiting on that to happen. I would literally scream in his face, cry, rage, shake him...you name it, to try to inject some sense directly into my brain. I acted insanely, like he does. And accepting this means "trying on for size" the idea that he may lose his life to it, as this life is a very dangerous one.

    Third, that the way he is is the source of the drama, the chaos, the insane behavior, the "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." I used to contribute to that, and I still can at times. I have to work HARD (just like he will have to do, if he ever decides he wants a different life) to keep my serenity.

    Fourth, that I have a choice. I have lots of choices. I don't have to actively participate in the drama, the chaos, and insane behavior that comes when I talk to him, when I see him, when I hear from him. I can separate from him and from that behavior as I see fit. That doesn't change my love for him one iota. It doesn't change my prayers and my hopes for him one iota. I will KNOW if and when he really changes if that ever happens. I will be able to hear it in his voice.

    Fifth, I can focus on my own life. I only have one life. This isn't a dress rehearsal. This is IT. I only have one day, this day. What will I do with it?

    I so much see my own walk, my own struggle, in parallel to my son's walk, my son's journey. We are both struggling. I have (mostly) stopped struggling against his disease. I am now struggling with my own recovery, my own life from being an enabler and a fixer to just being myself and working on myself. That is a full-time job.

    None of this---none of it---is easy. It takes work, it takes tools, it takes other people. Al-Anon gives so much of that, and this board is another great tool, plus books I read, writing, etc, etc.

    Having felt and glimpsed the peace, the serenity and the joy that comes with this type of work, the fruit of it, I want to stay in this and fill more of my life with it.

    My heart is with you black. This DOESN'T make any sense and it never will. It is a disease and one of the worst kinds of diseases. There is no way to fully grasp or understand this disease.

    Acceptance is the only path to peace and that is hard path, but a path that is worth it, to walk. I hope and pray your son hits his rock bottom sooner rather than later, and begins the long, hard work of change. I hope my son does too. But most of all, I wish you peace and a great life yourself. YOU are the only one who can live this life. Prayers for you and for your son.
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  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sorry, in my post part of it got deleted and a typo made the last sentence sound odd. The last sentence should be that he is HIS own responsibility.

    I am sorry that he isn't able to make the changes that appear so logical to the rest of us. It is so much harder for a parent than a sibling, as siblings can often just create distance with-o feeling the crushing guilt and desperation for the difficult child to change that a parent often feels and must deal with.

    I truly am glad that you are making progress on your own life and on not letting his life make yours a train wreck. I see LOTS of families where the entire family ends up very very sick because they become so codependent on the difficult child and on fixing the difficult child. I hope that someday your difficult child can accept the need to change and is willing to work for those changes.

    I am sorry if my earlier post sounded mean. Part of it just disappeared somehow, but my computer was acting up.
  14. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    What incredible, beautiful, perceptive and wise replies!

    Didn't read ANYTHING that could be construed as mean-some good arse-kicking statements are just what the dr. ordered, in my case!

    Haven't heard anything more yet-will keep you posted if anything comes up....

    Thank you all unto infinity for everything you have all said and bless you for all the wisdom that you've dispensed- borne from the suffering that we are unfortunately "privileged" to have experienced...
  15. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    An update-difficult child continued to drink and drug . Went to see girlfriend's mom (who visited him in jail-does that strike anyone else as odd?) and after meeting with a parole/probation person (not really sure what that was-I think he had to check in after being bailed out or something) on Monday, he decided to go back to jail. I think he found out something that makes him feel he has an even better case against the girlfriend, so he's going for that option...the cogs are always turning..

    So he's there now-my ex considers this the safest place for him to be (who'd a thunk it?) and I have to agree. I don't think he really belongs in the outside world. He IS a conniver, so he probably weighed his options and went for 3 hots and a cot, tv, warmth, sobriety-why, there's even a chance to work out regularly. He did tell me he had bulked up considerably while in jail and all I could think of was "Hmm, DEFINITELY not gonna be in a room alone with HIM again!" Isn't that a dreadful way to think of your kid? Yes, but it's also called self-preservation, something I should have practiced years ago.

    Again, the dysfunctional evil twin in me is telling me, "How sad that he chooses jail, because he REALLY doesn't have options. No money, nowhere to live, no family members that are willing to live with him for any length of time, no prospects, etc." But then reality kicks in-if he hadn't burned all those bridges and continually showed that he couldn't be trusted and hadn't changed, then he wouldn't be in that position.

    Thanks for reading.
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  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh boy blackgnat, I know just how you feel. However, it appears that this is the best possible outcome for everyone. And, you can stop worrying and ruminating and get on with your life. Try to do some really nice, nurturing things for yourself. Take care of YOU now, focus on YOU...........you deserve to have joy and peace, go create that for yourself. Sending you warm wishes and hugs...............
  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Same here. My son is in jail right now and I have had the same exact thoughts and feelings.

    Then, I notice that I relax into myself when he is there, because he is "somewhere", not on the street homeless, is theoretically not using drugs there, and has shelter and food.


    I call it my honeymoon period. (lol)

    I hope you can focus on yourself today and have a better day.
  18. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Thanks guys. I just heard from him and wow, I got THAT wrong! He didn't turn himself in, he was arrested (he's not sure what the charges are, but he was off-his face drunk) and so there's all kinds of tentacles snaking their way through the legal process , deals and violations and more of the same. He's going to court in a couple of hours. And he says he will call me after he is done. Now when I hear that, I just feel the walls closing in. DON'T start relying on me to be your sounding board, sonny boy. Can barely afford ONE phone call to you and that bank is closed...

    And as much as I'm glad he's "safe", I feel I don't need to hear the details of this latest train wreck. Know what I mean? It unnerved me knowing he has yet more charges-do I really want to know much more? He is happy where he is and so I will take your good advice and relax today-no work for me because of this "polar vortex"! I will definitely take warm hugs!
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I generally don't want to know much about what my difficult child is up to. What she considers normal I consider dismal, scary, dark and creepy. The less I know the better for me, so I curtailed her giving me the details, just the bottom line if even that is necessary. I want to know she is safe. The rest is out of my awareness.

    Yes, relax today. I had a moment just yesterday when in the afternoon, SO and I watched an episode of Sherlock Holmes (Masterpiece Theater) which I love and I tuned in to the moment and thought, geez, I am completely at peace, I feel comfortable, I am not fearful of someone else's choices or even thinking about anything at all................I said to SO, "I feel so grateful to be here feeling so much peace." And, to have a relaxing afternoon with nothing to do...........it was very nice. Have one of those days blackgnat, you've been through enough now..............rest and relax and treat yourself to a comforting, nourishing day of doing nothing............
  20. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    RE, I truly think that moments like that are what all of us are searching for when we think of "happiness". To me, happiness is not some huge panoramic extravagant consumer fest, it is tiny, fleeting moments of perfect peace and with being at one with the world.

    And I think so many of us are focused on achieving the grand prize that we miss those beautiful moments, or are not aware that we should be practicing mindfulness and Being Here Now.

    So I'm very happy for you to have felt that rush and from reading your posts, I bet you will continue to find and feel that joy on a daily basis.

    Thanks for your good wishes!