A visit from my son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by joysheph, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. joysheph

    joysheph Member

    Recently we installed cameras and had a few episodes of son trying to get inside. One time my youngest son was home and asked him you know your not supposed to be doing that. My youngest informed him there are cameras and we see everything. Next visit he asked if he had any mail. I gave him water and snacks and closed the doors. We decided to not go out of town for the holidays for fear of him breaking in. Today on this visit he advised us he is tired of drugging and has a meeting at 8:30 tonight for Oxford house. He plans to go to AA and has several job interviews. He asked if he could do laundry and my husband said yes. He has been here for a few hours and we argued for the most part. But then I realized my boundaries. I told him I hope he follows thru his plans. He told me he has to do things his way and he needs family support. I don't know how or what are we to do? I fear of getting swallowed back in and he fails at sobriety. I fear he will lean on me to much to stay clean when I have explained that he must do it for him. I dont really know how to show support when honestly i dont trust or believe him I told him its easy to be sober when broke. I don't know what action i should take without taking it over? I know he must do it.
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I wouldnt offer so much help. I do t know his drugs of choice but words are just verbal vomit. What are his actions? Sounds like he is still smart mouthed and nasty to you. Doesnt sound like he is changed. Is he planning rehab? Is he well enough to do it without rehab? Trust me, even broke they may use but if he is broke he may be trying to get money from you to be able to buy more. Thus the pretty but probably meaningless words.

    If you are afraid of him AT ALL he shouldnt be in your house. And you must still be afraid of him to have cameras on. His brother is also at risk. Is this older son dangerous?

    I feel they do it when they are ready and we help them AFTER they get sober. We can guide them to a rehab but we cant hold their hands while they quit. I am not at all sure he isnt just telling you what you want to hear to maybe gain favor and money and lodging and then maybe steal from you when your guard is down and then take off. Has he ever tricked you before? You know the answers. We dont. Words are just hot air. Actions prove intent. Not words.

    I hope you can figure it out.

    Love and light!
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  3. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Joy I am right there with you. It’s so hard to know when to throw them a lifeline and when to let them sink or swim on their own. We want so much to believe in them every time they are making steps towards sobriety. We don’t want to fail to help when there is a chance that this time they are sincere and ready.

    I think we have to stay a few steps removed as they go through this. Watch, wait and see if they follow through. I am also feeling myself getting sucked too far back in. It’s hard not to. I think we have to find ways of showing support and love that don’t shift the responsibility for their recovery back on us. They have to do it. We can help with encouragement, an occasional meal, other small things that don’t put our security or finances at risk and don’t give them resources they can spend on drugs or alcohol. I’m trying to find that balance too. I’m trying to find that middle road - maintaining my boundaries without turning my back on him entirely, and showing him a path back towards the light without entering the darkness with him. It’s hard.
  4. joysheph

    joysheph Member

    I feel anyone can be dangerous while on drugs or drunk. So I always am afraid and I do keep my guard up. I agree the words can be all bull and I am ready to see actual action. I have to remind myself of that. He texted me saying he got into the oxford house and he feels good about it. I wanted to ask all the questions but after reading some threads on here I simply said I'm glad and proud. He did apologize but I'm not going to get sucked in this time. I offered to buy a few groceries but no money. It's all to him and my prayers that he is finally tired and ready to live.
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  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    It is a balancing act. One I feel I have been doing for a long time. I think the important thing is that they know you love them and you can show them that in many ways and yet still keep good boundaries for you. So the important thing is to figure out wha tyou are comfortable doing for him and what you are not..... and if you start feeling like he is asking you for something you are not comfortable with then be attuned to the manipulation that may be starting to happen.

    Definitely dont give him money.....taking him out for a meal is good. Giving him some food here and there is ok. If he is in a program talk to them and see what they think is appropriate. I do think family support is important in the process of recovery.... but sometimes they use that as a way to maniupulate you into giving them what they want.... and sometimes it is just what they say, family support.

    I think one of the ways we get sucked in is that it becomes really important to us for them to be and stay sober... more important to us than to them. That is a red flag in a way. I have found that to some extent I have had to let go of his sobriety... that is or isnt his.
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  6. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    I can say I am a little jealous. I would love for my son to even admit he has a problem. I do know that once that happens then there is a lot that goes with that i.e. deciding how and how much to help. At least he is talking the talk, now the wait is on to see if he follows through and for how long. I read some where that the average drug abuser relapse is any where from 40-60 percent, with heroin addicts it is like 90 percent. Many in the field consider it "normal" to relapse. Good luck I think you have gotten a lot of good advice. It helps me if I know in advance what I am going to do and not do. Helps me keep on track when the begging starts.
  7. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Anyone following my story knows I'm in the same boat. My son has been kicked out of the house for about 2 months now (second time) and has made some small indications that he might be ready for help. He asked about staying with my brother cross country last week but never followed up. Last time he came back we couldn't find an inpatient rehab and everything imploded, but he ended up getting thru it by himself at home for a while until about a year later and things got bad again. He's also been asking if he can do some laundry and we reluctantly said yes (I think my husband wants to see him) but he never shows. Part of me thinks he's just trying to maintain a connection.

    Anyway, yes this is a tough road. I know if my son came home to do laundry and there was still arguing, it would really upset me. I'm not sure I would be able to have any hope about sobriety. But then again being drunk or high can make people say and do horrible things. I think you are doing the right thing by letting him take ownership of the first steps, but it's hard because we know the first steps are usually the hardest. At least he knows of a place that will take him, I think we lost precious time while looking for places and coming up empty with my son. Let us know how things are going this week!
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  8. RN0441

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

    Someone reminded me the other day that there is a difference between "being sober" and "working on ones recovery".

    That is very true. Working on your recovery takes a big commitment from the addict. It's not something WE can control. Let's face it, we wouldn't be here if we could!

    We probably wouldn't even need to be here if they would LISTEN to our advice or follow one thing we suggested.

    I think that partially they WANT to be sober but it's just too hard and they want to please us and they know that "sober" is a magic word for us.

    Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Two cliche's but they are correct.
  9. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Very true. I am sadly and painfully learning this lesson also.
  10. joysheph

    joysheph Member

    He came by asking for his mail. He appeared to be in good spirits and cleaned. We didn't ask any questions except how was the job hunting he said he went on few interviews. We just left it at that. He didn't ask to come inside and we didn't offer. I'm trying really hard to not get emotional involved with his recovery. I try to not say much. I worry about how my words may trigger. All I can do is pray and continue to live my life. We joined a gym today and I'm really excited about working out with my husband. Which we never had done before. I'm also ready to join alanon meeting. I'm really trying to be positive but I do know his sobriety is his not mine!
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  11. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Good for you, Joy! Sounds like a good interaction and you are successfully keeping your emotional boundaries. I think your comment about not getting too emotionally invested with his recovery is excellent. I’m trying to get there with my two as well. It’s hard - I don’t think I’ve been successful yet - but I’m trying. I remind myself I cant want it more than they do.

    I hope he continues to make progress and you continue to find joy.
  12. RN0441

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

    Good luck.

    Honestly I don't think there is anything that we, as loving parents, can say or do to TRIGGER drug use.

    Don't put that on yourself.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I worry about that. Not that I trigger drug use but that by not keeping him close by being out there he will be use different things.

    All of the things he uses he was exposed to and invited by others.

    What more will he try?

    But the thing is, sacrificing my life to protect him did not help him. We know that.

    And he has always said, one thing he will never do is the hardest drugs. This is his bottom line. And he deserves it. Because holding that line is a bottom line. He through his choices would draw a bottom line.

    By my holding on and holding on it only acted to give him free rein to fall more. He did not have to stop his fall. I would do it. I see that now
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018