A mother's pain..enough is enough

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CARP_ENOUGH, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    I'm new to this forum and I have to say it has given my solace already. I like many of the parents with a child over 20 have a deep sadness because of my now 23 year old son. So true that a parent is only as happy as his saddest child. Detachment is something I am struggling with and my own mother died without detaching from her own son who was 39 at the time , just in 2014 very recently.

    I witnessed my own mother enabling a drug conflicted teen who grew into a monster and always extorted money from her and made her life a living mess to the point, she could not have a husband or any relationship because it was constant drama , drama, drugs, thug, robbing, stealing and jail time for her son (my younger brother for over 15 years). Before my mother passed, she saw my brother in a homeless shelter, going through rehab and for her it was the best she ever saw him. So, onto my pain , my own son..who started smoking MH in High School, got arrested at 17, did graduate in 2013 from HS, but ever since, it has been a constant struggle. He moved out on his own and has been miserable, place to place every since. My son moved out of our home at 18 due to not liking rules and drugs NOT welcome! So, after a minimual cannabis arrest, 1 DUI, a violation of probation from DUI, he was blessed by an Angel girlfriend who changed his life for at least 12 months. I was able to at least let go briefly , watching from the sidelines which we know as Mother's is very very difficult to do. My son and angel girlfriend fought many times because my son went back to smoking pot, saying his anxiety was too great and his arrests had given him PTSD. He has held at least 20 jobs in 2 years, the most he has worked at one place is 4 months. His attitude is angry, miserable, charged with resentment, blame to others, even blaming me for giving him LIFE! How painful is that????

    He moved from Florida to California on 11/3 thinking he would get a new start. I prayed and felt that FINALLY he would change and get a new start with a new environment. He has only been there 72 hours and drama already. I had gone 2 weeks without talking with my own son after he insulted his step father and myself as a mother. He now called me and I went off on him and told him all the things he needs to get straight before I will speak to him again and it has been so tough for me. I cried every night last 2 weeks and on verge of tears, but also very angry myself that he is so pathetic. His father and I divorced when he was 9 and he blames everything in the past for his lack of discipline and negativity/anxiety. We always cherished him and provided everything, but he chose this thug, MH, life and blames all of us in the family every chance he gets...I have to come to terms that his suicidal texts to me are all a game of manipulation. I hope?

    I have so much going in my life, I'm a polished Marketing professional, have a very dedicated 18 yr old daughter who is lovely and peaceful and extremely ambitious and a great student! I have the best husband in the world, but he told me to STOP responding to my son and let him crash and burn. I'm hurting deeply, what do I do now????

    Help please for any other Mother/Father hurting from a negative, anxious 21-25 year old son.

    A severely disappointed Florida Mom
     
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome:

    Your story is the same as many of ours.

    You can see by my signature that we have been on this road for a very long time also.

    I will not attempt to rewrite all the wisdom that is already written here. I suggest you read in the Substance Abuse forum also which has a wealth of great information that can help you to see that YOU are entitled to a happy life. No one can save YOUR son but HIM.

    The best thing you can do is take care of yourself either through individual therapy or in a group. My therapist helped me establish firm but loving boundaries for our son.

    They are adults. They need the boundaries as much as we do. You have already witnessed what having no boundaries will do as proved by your mother and brother's relationship.

    Keep posting and reading. We're here and we get it.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome CARP.

    I'm so sorry you're going thru this with your son. I know how devastating it is. You've arrived at a safe place, we've been and many still are, in the place you're in right now. You are not alone.

    Firstly, I would like to strongly suggest you get as much support as you can for YOU. Some of the supportive measures we take here are Al Anon 12 step meetings, or Narc Anon or Families Anonymous. If your son has mental health issues in addition to substance abuse, give NAMI a call. They are the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they can be accessed on line and they have chapters in many cities. They have excellent parent courses, which I've taken, they can help you with support, guidance, information and resources. Many of us have private therapists who are well versed in either mental illness issues or substance abuse issues with our kids. Or if you can, find a group which specializes in substance abuse. What we have all come to realize after many years on this path, is that WE are the ones who have to change. Our kids change is up to them, and very often, they exhibit no changes until we change.

    You can't control your son's choices, you can't change it nor can you fix it, nor did you cause it.

    How you change is to get support, enact very strong impenetrable boundaries, learn different ways to respond, determine which of your behaviors are enabling and to put your focus on yourself now.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here.

    Do not allow your son to abuse you. Do not allow him to speak to you disrespectfully. Each and every time he does, let him know that you will now be hanging up. And then hang up. He will eventually learn to stop or you will not speak with him very often. Either way, do not allow that behavior. You don't deserve it and he should not be permitted to treat you or anyone in that fashion. It is ABUSE.

    One of the reasons we continue to allow the bad abusive behavior is because of our own guilt. This is where therapy helps, it helps us to let go of our guilt and recognize that this is one of those situations in life which we are powerless over, we cannot control this, we must find a way to accept what we cannot change......or our lives will be dragged thru the mud daily at someone else's whims. In my opinion, this is an essential step which is usually extremely difficult for us parents especially when our kids are quite young. We have been their protectors, their saviors, their best guides and teachers. Unfortunately when they reach adulthood, we no longer have that kind of power and most of us have a very difficult time with the powerlessness of that. We've been loving them and being there for them for 18+ years, it is how we know to do it. Unfortunately, with our troubled kids, WE have to learn a very different approach.

    There is nothing you did or didn't do to have created the way your son is responding to life. He made the choices which lead him here and rather than take the responsibility for those choices, he blames you......vehemently. This is extremely common practice for our troubled kids. Don't allow it. At some point in time, he will have to suffer the consequences of his choices. Or not. That is up to him.

    The best advice I can give you is to take excellent care of yourself now. All of that focus you've had on your son, place it on you. After we've been at this for years, we are depleted, exhausted and often have forgotten how to care for ourselves. Nourish yourself. Nurture yourself. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to another who has been suffering for so long. It's a tough transition for us to make, because we feel so guilty and responsible and we believe that our love can somehow heal them. If that were true, not one of us would be on this forum.

    Every single time he threatens suicide, call the authorities to do a wellness check on him. He will soon stop that behavior once called on it.

    Keep posting it helps. Know that you're not alone. Take care of you, your husband and your daughter now. Begin the process of detaching what you cannot control. I'm glad you're here with us. We understand.
     
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  4. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Welcome and know you are not alone. I am right in the mix of the very same battle with you. Many of us are.

    You need to detach with love and this is not easy as I am discovering. I feel your distress over what is right and wrong. I posted a thread today on parenting Vs Codependent behaviour. there is a lot of wise advise there.

    Have you tried anything to support yourself Naranon, private therapy? I do both and I found they along with this forum have helped me tremendously.

    You can se my struugle in my signature as well.

    :notalone:
     
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  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    So well said RE

    FOG Fear Obligation and Guilt, It ruled my life until i began to heal myself.

    Can not cure it, did not cause it and can not control it. If love could resolve these issues none of us would be here.
     
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  6. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I am so sorry that you are going through this very painful time. All of us here at this board understand. Please read the article on detachment on this board, and keep reading it every day. It is very very difficult, but you will find, that as you change, he too will be forced to change. It may not happen overnight letting him go will force him to face up to his own choices and the resulting consequences. I thought with enough love, money, faith, I could fix everything for my difficult son. Not to be. the more I gave the more he took. Looking back I now realize that I assumed he was operating from the same core values as myself. I gave my heart and soul, my bank card, all of it because I am someone who doesn't like to lose. But my giving destroyed me, my family, my marriage. I landed from that awful life with a thud. But that thud woke me up. Your son is a grown man . Please back away and protect yourself, your marriage and your daughter. Your son will come around if and when he is ready to. Like many others have already suggested focus the energy back on yourself right now. HugsXOXO
     
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  7. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

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  8. kenazfehu

    kenazfehu New Member

    Very similar issues, except that our son is 38. He spends a lot of time complaining he's sick, barely leaving his bed, in a room so filthy that it would make anybody sick to be in there. I figured out a long time ago that I can't help somebody who won't help himself, but I can't figure out how to get from here to where I need to be. Every once in awhile, he gets up, cleans his room, and spends a few days being productive with a woodworking hobby. I get so hopeful during those days, but it never lasts. He's had substance abuse issues in the past, but since he doesn't work and doesn't go anywhere, I don't think he's using drugs now. I'm sure he would if somebody would supply them for free. Anyway, just posting in solidarity. I think I need to seek out some counseling. I really can't go on this way. My spouse prefers avoidance. When I bring up the situation, he says something like "don't dwell on it".
     
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  9. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member


    Thank you so much for your reply !! I could feel the pain reading your son's trajectory and several tries to get out of the addiction. I will take your warnings and advice to heart NOW. I am almost 50, Executive professional your bio seems very similar to mine. I don't know why so many moms and dads have to suffer this pain when we love our son's and daughters so much. Drugs are definetly a dark force used to try to destroy us all and our families but that force will not WIN!! I am so blessed to have found solace in this forum with others that have the experience, my husband is 100% correct and I was in total DENIAL. I was trying to still save my son by enabling him and listening to all the drama and trying to keep him out of jail so he would not become a statistic. What a FOOL. I have been as a mother. My son did just return from San Diego and gave me one last guilt trip, of course now I totally get it. They use the guilt so we enable them, it's a VICIOUS CYCLE!!! Thank you Thank you...I am amongst angels here.
     
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  10. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    I understand your pain. My husband also doesn't want to talk about my son's issues..he doesn't live with us and could not because my husband will not allow, has zero forgiveness for drug and laziness. As a mother and grandmother it hurts deeply and I can tell your hope those few days a month keeps you in FAITH that he will get past this..I will tell you that my younger brother did this for years with my mother and it never got any better, even with counseling. What did work was on a good streak when he finally worked for more than a month, she had to take tough love and kick him out which hurt very deeply but it was the only remedy to ease her day to day watching him idle and lazy and in a dark room all day acting sick. He was doing drugs at night time and going out and then sick all day from withdrawal or drug hang overs...so let me say that eventually he has to get some help very very soon! I'm wishing you strength and peace to endure and see him get a better life soon.
     
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  11. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    Thank you for your wise words!!!! Same here..I though money, love, faith would take my guilt away. But they don't appreciate it until the time is right , I suppose? Bless you and thank you so much!!! This board has given me some serenity and peace.
     
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Please check into Families Anonymous.
    Our daughter does not have drug issues.
    I went to a few mtgs of FA and the majority of parents had adult "children" over 18 using drugs and causing trouble.
    The comraderie / support of the parents was wonderful. Emotional and practical.
    Read whatever you can get your hands on re detachment.
    If (and that's a big if) your son is appropriate with you I would consider minimum support like paying for a cell phone for job searches and safety. Maybe an occassional gift card to a food store if you can find any that are the same between the two states.
    If he is unkind to you...not sure I would even do that.
    He needs to get a job and be respectful.
     
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  13. I want to validate your feelings. I am feeling exactly the same way. But notice that my son is 42, not 22. The worst thing I did for him is to continue to enable him. It is much harder for an older and more severely addicted person to recover than a younger. I do believe you should just let him go and let him find his way.
     
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  14. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    Thank you "wisernow" I also thought love, money, faith and resistance to negativity would prevail but no way! I am detaching daily. I find myself being pulled back in though...it is so hard. My son came back from San Diego and now his drivers license is suspended because he did not pay a traffic ticket and of course I helped him pay it today like a dum, weak person that I feel like a mother. He did not even "thank me" he told me he is so tired of everything happening to him and that he is messed up because he feels I lied to him his whole life and he blamed every part of our family for his lack of positivity..I just had another punch in the gut today from my 22 yr old son...I am done now...it's like a vicious cycle. My husband doesn't want to hear anything or speak to him again..it's easier for him to detach and tougher than I. I need to continue therapy myself...this is a great forum and I feel I have some friends now that understand..hugsxoxoxo CarPas
     
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  15. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Yes you need to continue therapy. You are not dumb and you are not weak. But take a closer look and see the compassion and care you show. That in and of itself negates the nasty nonsense your sons addiction a.m. has him spewing at you. Love the child/ adult child am not the addiction.

    There is no time book and this is hard stuff.

    Be kind to yourself.

    My nugget of a few this week was from Codependent No More. Detachment is a daily processs it’s not a light switch.
     
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  16. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    They are stupid meaners
     
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  17. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I’m both kidding and not kidding

    Stupid. Because they are stuck in their own heads. Working on their origin stories. Pure fiction.

    And Meaners. Because they are stuck in their own heads — heart and perspective, inaccessible.
     
  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcom Carp, I have been away from the forum for over a week and am now just getting caught up.

    I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I truly can relate.

    This sounds just like something my son would say. My son has been in jail numerous times, currently doing a 2 year sentence. He is always quick to complain about how horrible it is and how no one likes him, etc.... I have expressed to him many times, if you don't like jail then don't behave in a way that will get you arrested.
    I have no doubt that getting arrested would cause great anxiety but to claim PTSD is a stretch.
    Our difficult adult children want to live an adult life but as soon as they have to deal with "real adult" issues they quickly revert back to a child like state and are unable to cope. They want all the fun without any of the responsibility.

    This is very typical of a difficult adult child. They do not want to take an responsibility for their poor choices so they lash out and blame others. Moms and Dads are always prime targets.
    The best thing you can do is develop some thick skin. If you know in your heart you did the best you could to raise your son then you know him blaming you is nonsense.
    We as parents have zero control over our adult children. If we did have some kind of control over them we wouldn't need a site like this.
    Detaching from their chaos and drama is key to taking our own lives back. It's possible to do this and move on with your life, to live a happy life. I and many others here are proof that it can be done.

    My son has had several "geographic" changes and each time he would profess, "this time will be different".
    It's never different. Until my son, your son and all the other difficult adult children realize they are the ones that need to change and put forth serious effort to do so, nothing for them will get better no matter how many times they move and start over. Several years ago after my son got out of jail, I flew out to get him and move him to the town my husband and I relocated to. Several states away. My son didn't know anyone here. It was a matter of days before he was able to find people who he could get drugs from.

    If you haven't done so already please read the article on detachment. Print it out and keep it close.
    Here's the link to it.
    Article on Detachment

    I'm glad you are here with us. You will find much needed support within these pages and years of tried and true honest help.

    ((HUGS))
     
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  19. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    Welcome
    I am so sorry you are going through this. It is so very painful and I wonder if a lot of our pain is the guilt. The guilt that as a mother we should be 'fixing' them, helping them sort things out etc.What I am realising is this: they are cleverer than we think. They can arrange to do everything that suits them but yet appear unable to take responsibility when things go wrong, they know right from wrong so it has to be a choice. A choice they make because they know we will pick up the pieces. I guess its about starting to make better choices ourselves and thats the difficult thing. Thinking of you. xx
     
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  20. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member


    Hello Littleboylost..thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I have tried private therapy and it has helped some. I stopped over the last 18 months and also gave up medications to calm me which I felt I had to be a big girl Mom and give up. Now we are back to the roller coaster again. I have realized that I can only speak to my son when I feel I can withstand the negative charge because every other day now for the last 2 months, he goes between "I will survive and am an adult" to "My heart is barely beating, the anxiety and depression is killing me Mom". I'm ready to go to heaven " My son says these things that contradict eachother and leaves me with total PAIn and confusion and the GUILT comes back to me immediately even after I have detached and therapy. I don't know what else to do? Do I just block and pretend that I disappeared forever? This is so painful and such a Mother's nightmare..I saw my Mother go through it but she enabled and never did let go. She forfeited relationships for her love of her son, which I will NOT be foolish enough to do as she did. I feel so responsible for his sadness because I left his father when he was 9 years old and I had a couple affairs before that..my EX told me son everything when he was 13 and now my son reminds me of it all the time and I feel condemned although I have vowed to change my life and GOD knows I am sorry and regretful every second for my mistakes and failings. My daughter who is 18 is an Angel and my current partner , he is so supportive and I feel like my son is killing me slowly emotionally and my soul is bleeding every day for him. I am so blessed and thankful for this site and feel I'm not alone anymore. Pray for us all and I don't know any of you but you are all blessed ANGELS. hugs.