a train wreck already

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Acacia, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I posted less than a week ago about visiting my son at rehab and how the counselor said he needed a deposit for a sober house. It'd already a train wreck.

    I had told my son I would buy him a phone card when he got out and give him $100 for Christmas. He knows he's not to come to the house unless invited. He showed up today, apologized for not calling first, but said he couldn't call because no phone. He looked high to me. He asked his brother if they could get together for dinner before he leaves for the sober house tomorrow. His brother is home for college, doesn't have much to do with him, but he said yes. We asked college son to pick him up, so he wouldn't show up here.

    Guess what. Rehab son says he'll drive up, and his tire comes off the rim in front of our house. His stepdad and I came home from dinner to find the car here. My husband is ranting now as I write this. Tired of this, doesn't trust my son, hasn't spoken to him for five years, wants the car gone now. If it stays out front, it will get a a ticket because it's snowing and can't stay on the road. My husband won't let it be in our driveway.

    I am so tired. I want to not be here. I want to move away. I need to write this or I'll lose my mind. Angry at everyone - rehab son for his endless bad choices, not honoring boundaries, college son for not saying no to rehab son driving up here to meet him, husband for escalating things - acting like rehab son had car break down on purpose, telling me over and over to get the car out of here. Rehab son has no money to fix it.

    It's New Year's Eve. Everything closed tomorrow and sober house an hour and a half away. It's a s... show, and it's been that way for more almost 20 years. Sitting here trying to figure out how to have things not go from bad to worse.

    So glad to have this place to let the hurt and frustration out. Thanks.
  2. Misssy2

    Misssy2 New Member

    Oh man...it is a sh..show....and I have been in similar situations.

    So he is NOT in sober living because the deposit was not made?
    I'm a little confused.

    And breathe...it is not your car....I am assuming this is your boys stepdad that is so mad? You need to get away from these people even if it is for a day or two...in a motel or with a friend.

    You can not fix these problems and you did not cause them....

    I really don't know what to say to you except I would have to either get away from this for a little break and think about the long term.

    I don't know ...actually I couldn't stay with someone who was putting me in the middle of him and my son.

    He is not happy with the car there..you didn't put the car there...your son did but you are getting scolded for it....My heart hurts for you....

    I would just have to get away..or tell husband to get away because its just too much....My kids come first...nothing good can happen in your relationship if you are not supported in your struggle with your son..that is just my opinion.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Dont go in my opinion. Its your house. Why should YOU leave? Makes no sense. Sorry, Misssy, strongly disagree here. I do not believe WE should run away. I dont think most here do or would.

    Our adult kids have no business making us feel we should leave our sanctuary for them. Misssy, in my opinion if you feel that way, its time for your son to leave, not you. in my opinion its crazy to leave your own house for a 20 something year old man who decides to make your life miserable, adult child or not.

    Back to Acacia...

    Your husband is your partner and your son sure wont be there for you if you leave your husband because your son chooses his crazy life and you decide to support it. He had no business coming home. You told him not to. Your home/your rules.

    If your son gets a ticket it is his problem, not yours. You know you cant fix your son or make him want to be sober but he doesnt have to stay in your house upsetting the well behaved people in the family who deserve peace. Including you. Whatever you decide to do tonight, get him out tomorrow.

    20 years of your life is enough. Your son needs to figure iut what to do. Or not. He is an adult. He has to decide.

    We all deserve a sanctuary in our home. I am sorry Son came there when he knows he shouldnt. Tell yourself one day at a time. Buy him a bus ticket back to sober living or he can find a shelter if he wont go.

    Do not let him abuse you. Remember that a grown man, son or not, can be a domestic abuser.

    Hugs, love and light. You can do this. He is not a little boy anymore and his next move is up to him. You have been there before. Just breathe and get through the night.

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  4. Misssy2

    Misssy2 New Member

    :cry:Yes, I'm a person that runs.
    I want to be "somewhere out there" Great inspiration...that I also needed to hear..

    The only part that bothered me is every person deserves peace in their own home....sanctuary...but my problem is....I think my son deserves the same things...he is in a bad place...I'm his mother ...and my son doesn't have a drug problem it is anger...

    Not hijacking this post....I wrote my own and if someone replies to it..I will discuss it there..but someoneoutthere is right..to this op and to myself.

    Happy New Year? When ? :(
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Misssy, I strongly disagree with enabling adults, especially older ones. I would not allow an angry adult child who didnt work or get mental health services to live with me. He needs to get over the anger issues.

    I had a mental illness (still do) and worked, married, had kids, got great psychiatric help and had no parental support and my first husband was no support either.

    But I sure felt good doing it myself and I grew strong. Im glad my parents did not take care of me or I would not be so strong. I never was babied for my mood disorder. And it was severe until I got on the right medication.

    Most of us here try to detach in certain degrees and do not house our adults. I cant change how you feel but I recommend therapy.

    We made our daughter leave for continuous meth and coke use and we had two littles who didnt need to see her act high. Nor did we. She refused the professional help we offered. So we told her she had to leave. She had somewhere to go but it was very strict and demands were placed on her. It really helped her.

    Within one year, my19 year old daughter who was an addict and not allowed to live here until she quit drugs DID quit drugs, even cigarettes. She had a job, took out a loan and went to college, worked, and now has a long term SO, her own house, and my lovely granddaughter. We are very close but she never lived with us again after we made her leave. She didnt need or want to.

    She grew strong too. All my kids are strong. I have an autistic son who chose to live on his own, works and has improved ninety percent. He has a few adult services but is mostly on his own. And he likes his independence. He is 25. But he wanted to look for a place at 20 so we helped him and he moved out on his own. We are also very close. Great young man. My hero!

    I wont change your mind and wont try but I hope you do explore therapy to help you maybe cope better both for your sake and for your son too. Your son is 29. What id so damaged about him that he cant live alone, like my autistic son?

    Anger issues he can work on as he works and gets good therapy. He is able bodied I assume.

    Good luck and hugs, love and light. Do try therapy for you!!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  6. Misssy2

    Misssy2 New Member

    Yea..but my son is not a drug addict...he came here because he was having a medical problem (seizures) and couldn't live alone...he just got well....and now I find myself being overly protective of him to the point it is disrupting my happiness....

    He has grown in the year and 1/2 he has been here....he will keep growing....I just have to keep vigilant about enabling him (buying his food, cooking for him) and allowing him to pay almost nothing...I just stepped up that a notch...its 80 a week now and he pays cable.

    So I'm proud of myself and of him....My older son was the drug addict that I struggled to kick out and I did...which resulted in him not talking to me for 3 years and it broke my heart....but HE IS SOBER NOW...and raising his family...So I guess some things just need to happen that way.

    I'm ready to let go of the 29 year old...Im just struggling doing so....Alanon...I don't have time...I take care of my Dad with dmentia...and I own a house and was diagnosed with dementia myself in Aug...and my sister died in Sept...I am so busy that by the end of the day..there is no time for me...Im glad I found this board.
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  7. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    thanks for the swift replies. Yes, I often feel caught in the middle. My husband (son's stepdad) has every right to not want to deal with my son, given his behavior over the years, but also my husband is a reactive person who doesn't know how to de-escalate, so he doesn't have contact with my son. Sadly, my son still hasn't really changed. Drugs are a problem, but not the main problem, which is anger, resentment, and grandiosity. Either way, I have been stuck in the middle for years, and the stress is awful.

    Texted my son, saying he could use my AAA to have car towed to a place of his choice, so he doesn't get a ticket. No response. New Year's Eve - don't know if he's drinking or using, so I'm not willing to do more than that. My husband cooled off a little. He often says he will support my choices with my son because I try very hard to keep boundaries, but as soon as he is triggered, it's a different story.

    Don't know how it will play out tomorrow. What I do know is that my rehab son really hasn't cared about the impact of his behavior on me for years, and when my husband is triggered, neither does he.
    I am not going anywhere tonight, but I certainly bummed out and not looking forward to tomorrow.
  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    I am sorry this is happening to you it seems your whole family is being at the least inconsiderate.
  9. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Acacia, By now you probably did something about the car. I have AAA too and would of just had it towed to the nearest service station (ours is free towing for up to 10 miles I think). Did you give him the phone and $ for Christmas? If you haven't done that yet use part of the $ to have tire repaired.
    Like SWOT says though..it isn't your car or your problem. If someone else's car broke down out front of your house you wouldn't fret over it.
    Too bad college son agree to have dinner with ds. Did you talk to him about it? Did he feel guilty so he agreed?
    I don't know what you can do about ds not honoring boundaries you have set. Get a doorbell with video and don't answer the door?

    I think you and your husband both need counseling, he needs to not take your son's actions out on you. That is like being mad at you when the neighbor ticks him off. I totally get not trusting the ds, so don't let him in and if you do don't leave him unsupervised for a second.
    Good luck!
  10. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    MIssey2, I looked for the thread you said you started for your situation but can't find it.
  11. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Acacia- So sorry your New Year's Eve was messed up. I know exactly what you mean. There have been many times when I felt like I was just losing my mind with all the chaos and stress. I get that your husband would be frustrated with the situation, but I'm sure it makes you feel worse as he looks at you expecting you to fix a situation you didn't create. I'm single, so mostly I just deal with my daughter's crazy on my own. But when I have to tell my parents unpleasant things about her I always dread it. I have gotten much better about letting them know I am not responsible for my adult daughter's behavior and choices. I have communicated it in a matter of fact, calm manner and they seem to have gotten the message. I hope you have been able to find a few minutes of peace in the chaos. For me, even just taking a quick walk helps. Hoping the new year brings peace to you.
  12. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I agree that the car on the street shouldn’t be my problem, but my husband makes it my problem as I said. In some ways he has better boundaries, in others he just makes things more difficult.

    I am still in the thick of it. Believe it or not, I have been in a 12 step group for codependents and in therapy for 20 years. Can you imagine what I used to be like. That’s what a childhood of abuse/neglect will do for you. I am always more concerned about others - not actually a good trait.

    My son got his car fixed for now at least. My husband took off for the day, but my DS is coming back to get things of his from our storage for the sober house. No room in his car. This is where my husband is right because it gives him an excuse to come here, but I don’t have the heart to throw what little he has away.

    The only good thing is that when my DS was blaming me for losing some of his things, when my college son defended me, DS did not escalate or intimidate, which he usually does. He actually de-escalated, a behavior I’ve never seen before from him. The bad, already asked to take a shower here, get warm, a foot in the door. I said no. Hurts, but I did it.
    Feel like s.... Have to go back to teaching high school tomorrow, and I am doing no self-care. Not good.

    Thanks to everyone, and yes, I gave him phone card.
  13. JMom

    JMom Active Member

    Hi honey, so sorry-you are really going through it. I remember feeling the way you do right now about 5 years ago with my son. He entered rehab and it was time for the sober living house decisions. It seemed like the world was on my shoulders. Same dynamic with my son's step dad, I was in the middle. (also answering to the ex-husband putting me in the middle). I remember a group session at rehab where they told me in front of everyone "it's not about you" when I was venting frustration.

    I caused a bit of a scene. I said "oh really?" How is it not about me? It kinda is. My life is upside down, I'm in the middle, I've lost 15 pounds (weighing in at 100 lbs at 43 years old) and my son is in a safe place with counselors telling me basically to get over all the hurt, frustration, destruction in 2 weeks, that took my son 6 years to damage.!? All of this to say-we get lost in the chaos. We are told to sit down, shut up, cut them off, show tough love, be strong and take care of ourselves- yet no one says how. Oh yes and work two jobs to pay for rehab and try to function at work.

    Here is the secret...ready? The taking care of yourself can look like this: (just suggestions, not an expert by any means).

    1) Talk to your husband very frankly. Some variation of-Short and sweet "I love you, this has been a long journey, that I suspect it could last until his (son) last days. I am his mom and am learning how to take care of our marriage and manage to be his mom in a healthy way. I do not have all the answers and will not handle everything in your way, but I need us to be 100% on the same team. Let's take a moment and brainstorm ways to get through this TOGETHER.

    2) Read a book. I know this sounds crazy but for a few moments a day you get to "go somewhere else" without leaving your home. It takes your mind off of the worry wagon.

    3) I have a journal beside my bed titled you can't make this sh%t up.When something happens I write it down. I can sleep on it and look at it the next day minus the immediate stress. A friend of mine from high school called for advice with her addicted daughter. We traded you cant make this up stories. It sounds crazy but we found some sliver of comfort in that we were not in it alone.

    4) Talk frankly to your sons. Tell them what you want to say, then tell both of them that you need to take care of yourself and will reach back out in a week. Then take the week off. (not from work, just from worry). I promise everything will be just as you left it with the exception of you rushing around in the mind. Tell them not to text, call, email, write, show up, etc...Let them all know they will need to find another scapegoat, punching bag for the week. (I use sarcasm- not to be disrespectful-it's my defense mech.)

    5) Go get coffee, ice cream, whatever your vice is, with your husband. Don't talk, just eat/drink something delicious, guilt free.

    6) Lastly, in every situation-stop and think -Is this something someone can do for themselves? If the answer is yes then do NOTHING. You don't have to do a damn thing. If the car is out front, let it sit out front. If the husband is mad, let him be mad. If college son is silent, let him be silent. This is the hardest part. To take everything off your back and set it down like a dirty tissue. Dust yourself back off and try to enjoy your life.

    Acacia, I feel like you love your family very much. I can feel your frustration in your post. You wouldn't be upset if you didn't love them all so much. We are all behind you, lifting you up in good thoughts, cheering you on. Please take care of yourself in the midst of this mess.


  14. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Jmom - what kind, beautiful words and advice. I do feel if lifted up by those who post on this site.

    Thank you.
  15. RN0441

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


    So glad that your son got his car fixed.

    You poor thing. You are just trying to keep the peace and make everyone happy. That is me to a T.

    I don't have anything to add but wanted to give you my support and prayers.

    I do hope that in 2019 you find some joy.
  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm so sorry for the stress and chaos you have been dealing with.

    The only way I found to deal with the chaos from my son is to have very strict boundaries. My situation is the same but opposite of you. My husband who is the step dad is more willing to give in than myself.

    It's not easy when you and your spouse don't quite see eye to eye on how to handle the chaos and drama that an out of control difficult child can bring into our lives.
    I have only the one child, my son who will be 37 this month. He is currently living in a half way house and will be paroled from that sometime next month. While he's been living there he has been maintaining because if he does not follow all the rules, he will have to finish out his sentence in prison. I do not hold out much hope for it to continue once he has been paroled. I pray that I'm wrong but I imagine before too long he will be back to living a homeless, drug/alcohol filled life.

    As I said, my husband is more willing to give in than I am and when I say give in, what that equates to is giving him money. I learned a long time ago that money will never solve my son's problems. I also made a choice a long time ago to not allow my son to come between me and my husband. There are some times that my husband and I don't see eye to eye but we discuss it. We each have to be willing to see things from the other person's perspective. It's not always easy, but having some very clear and defined boundaries is key.

    My suggestion to you is this, you and your husband both write down your list of boundaries where your son is concerned. Make 2 columns - one what is acceptable and one what is not acceptable. Once you both have your lists sit down and compare. You may have some things line up evenly and you may have some things that don't. You will need to discuss what doesn't line up and work on a compromise.
    When you have a list of boundaries written out that you both agree to, it will make moving forward much easier.

    Remember, enabling is not helping. When we enable our adult children we are not allowing them to learn from life's natural consequences.