Adult son addicted to pills and soon to be homeless

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Scott_G, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    This is my first post here and first time reaching out for parenting advice.

    Our son is an only child, and when he was little, was a great kid. He did very well in school and absolutely loved baseball. He loved going to baseball games, collecting baseball cards, and playing baseball. He was very good at little league and had the trophies to prove it. He was every parents' dream child and we had a good relationship. But that all changed when we moved to a new community over the summer between 8th grade and high school. In 9th grade he fell in with a bad crowd. He was a follower and not a leader, but he chose to follow losers who today are mostly either dead or in prison. Now I'm not talking boys will be boys mischief, a little drinking and smoking a little pot, I'm talking trouble with the law-the kind that can get you locked up. The first serious incident happened when he was 15. He and three of his loser buddies stole my wifes' brand new car and totalled it. This is where the friction also started between the wife and I. I was raised in a "spare the rod, spoil the child" household. If I seriously misbehaved I could count on a beating with Dad's belt. My wife on the other hand did not believe in hitting children. She was and always continues to be the "softie". This is something I have always chalked up to the strong mother-child bond. Back to the story- since this was his first serious episode my wife did not want to press charges. I disagreed and we fought over it but I eventually gave in. We had numerous trips to school and court over truancy. He would skip school and he and his buddies would hang out at our house drinking and doing whatever sort of drugs they were doing. He was openly defiant to ANY authority. I tried physically forcing him to attend school by taking him there personally every day. It didn't matter as he and his friends would just leave and hang out at our house. We tried to stop this by taking away his house key. However, we would come home from work to find evidence that someone was in the house. Turns out he had a copy made of the house key. So we had to change the locks. That still didn't stop him. He would break in through his 2nd floor bedroom window. Took us a while to figure out how he was getting in the house. He also stole money from us. He took $100 from his mothers purse one time.

    At 16 he was expelled from school for truancy. He got arrested when he was riding around in a car with a bunch of his friends and someone cut the driver off. His buddy chased the other driver and ran him off the road. The guy took down the license number and called the cops. Shortly thereafter the cops caught up with the kids and arrested them. My son was only a passenger, but alcohol and marijuana were found in the car. He also got arrested for shoplifting two times. The final straw broke when he and his friends stole a car and got caught when he was 17. The judge sentenced him to a group home for troubled teenaged boys. Well our son is attracted to losers like a moth to a flame. He and a couple of other boys snuck out of the home and were caught. They had a zero tolerance ploicy and he was kicked out and sent to juvenile hall until his 18th birthday.

    At 18 he came back to live with us despite my protests. My wife as I mentioned before is very soft-I would consider it enabling, and he took full advantage. The boy is a master manipulator and liar, and is very good at telling anyone exactly what he wants them to hear and make them believe it. He used his manipulative ways to pit my wife and I against each other. My personal philosophy is that at 18 you are an adult, and you either join the real world, join the military, or go to college. The military was out. The Army wouldn't take him, and in hindsight that's good since he probably would have ended up in Iraq.

    The wife and I came to a compromise when I agreed to let him move back in with us as long as he got a job and paid us for room and board. He quickly found a job painting houses, but he was also quickly up to his old tricks. When rent time came, he continuously sweet talked and made excuses to my wife to let the rent slide. "I'll pay you next week, because I need money now for.......", and of course, when next week came, the money didn't. His attitude didn't improve much either. He was defiant and disrespectful, maybe even moreso now that he was legally an adult. He also delveloped a huge sense of entitlement. He didn't think it was fair that he had to work and pay us for room and board. He thought that he could just sit around on our couch all day smoking pot and watching TV. He was home for less than a year before we finally kicked him out after he had a very heated fight with his mother.

    He drifted around for a bit, staying with friends and even with his aunt for a while. At 21 he landed a job as a prep cook at a resort. Part of the deal was the resort provided room and board for employees. My wife and I hoped that he would finally grow up and be able to make it on his own in the adult world.

    October came around and one day my wife approached me and told me that our son wanted to come stay with us for a while. Things slowed down at the resort and he was laid off for the winter. I was 110% against it. Been there, done that, and oh by the way, we kicked him out of the house two years earlier. He was an adult and he needed to take care of himself. My wife assured me that it was only temporary and his employer told him he would be hired back next summer when business picked up again. She also assured me that he knew he was expected to chip in around the house. If he couldn't pay for room and board, he could earn his keep by doing chores. Reluctantly I agreed and for the first few weeks things were okay, but soon after it was just like old times. This episode nearly ended with me divorcing my wife and walking out. As an adult, I had much less patience for his BS and really adopted more of a hard line approach with his unacceptable behavior. He would tell his mother that I am mean to him and treat him terribly. He caused my wife and I to fight constantly. He told both of us numerous times that we didn't love him, and when I told him I had a good mind to put him out, he told us that if we did he would kill himself. Of course that struck right to my wife in the short term. He was very successful at pitting my wife and I against each other, but the charade and lies would soon come to an end. Memorial day came and there was no talk about returning to work at the resort, so my wife confronted him and that's when he admitted that there was no job to go back to. He had been fired for smoking pot on the job. It blew up into a huge fight and we ended up kicking him out of the house again.

    This time good fortune seemed to be on his side. While he was living with us, he met a girl at a party and they started dating. When we kicked him out he moved in with his girlfriend and her roommates. Eventually they got their own apartment. It could have been he was just growing out of his "bad patch" or maybe his new girlfriend did what we could never do, but he seemed like he was really turning his life around. She was motivated and had goals and that was probably good for him. He soon had a full time job (where he worked until just yesterday) and did very well. He was promoted to a supervisory position. They got married and in 2007 they purchased a home. I remember at their wedding reception feeling something I hadn't felt in years-pride in my child. They were even trying to start a family and his mother was super excited over the thoughts of becoming a grandmoter.

    Well it all came tumbling down starting last October. He stopped by our house one day while I was on a business trip and told his mother that he and his wife were separated. She moved in with her cousin and he was living in their house. Form that point on it was like things just picked up where they left off nearly ten years ago when we kicked him out of our house. At first it started with the visits, and we were happy. What parent doesn't want to see their kids more often? But the visits became like three or more times a week, often just showing up. Next came the borrowing of money. We knew things were tight because they had a big mortgage and his soon-to-be ex was not giving him anything. She told him she didn't want anything to do with the house anymore. Of course at first, borrowed money was returned promptly. When he couldn't pay us back I made a deal that he could work his debt off by donig chores for us. He painted our house to work of debt. But even that came to an end. He would start making all sorts of excuses why he couldn't come over, and even when he promised to come over, he would be a no show. I would get angry because we would sit around all day on a Saturday waiting for him and he would not even bother to call. As of the $100 he borrowed two weeks ago, he now owes us over $500. I am angry because he always seems to have money for pot and alcohol and buying clothes for his new girlfirend, yet two weeks ago he calls and asks to borrow $100 because his lights are going to be shut off. His mortgage hasn't been paid since his ex-wife moved out, and at this point he's nearly $20,000 behind. When he was married, they ran up a bunch of credit card debt. Last summer he took out a loan in his name to buy his wife a car because her credit was maxed out. When they split, she took the car and said she would pay the loan. Last month she bought a new car and dropped the other one off with our son, and surprise! she hadn't made the payment in two months.

    A couple of months ago our son started dating a 20 year old that he met on a popular social media site. Seems to fit perfectly because he's acting more like a 20 year old kid than a 30 year old man. All these two do is party together. While married he did like the partying, but we never paid it much mind since he was keeping his life together, but since his split with the ex, it seemed like he was drinking pretty much all the time. But wait, there's more. His new 20 year old play thing lived nearly two hours away. She doesn't own a car and shared an apartment near her job with roommates. Their lease was up and she was looking for a new apartment when they had the bright idea that she would move in with #1 son. Since she has no car, she quit her job and moved in with our son. So now he's supporting her, both of them living in a foreclosed house. Any effort to try and give them advice was met with defiance. She landed a job offer soon after moving in with him but didn't want to stop smoking pot long enough to pass the drug test, so of course the job offer fell through and she's made no effort to find employment since.

    Two nights ago he calls during dinner and asks if we could do him a favor and drive his girlfirend to her uncle's house. When we asked why, he told us that he had to go to rehab. Apparently he showed up wasted for work and they told him to go to rehab or be fired. When my wife asked why he couldn't drive her, he admitted that his car had been repossessed and he was hiding his ex-wife's car so that the repo men would not find it. Apparently he and his new girlfirend are both hooked on prescription pain killers. He admitted to us that's where all his money has gone.

    Yesterday he calls his mother and for whatever reason, he decided not to go to rehab, so now he's out of a job. Eventually the bank is going to take his house, so soon he and his girlfriend will be homeless. Today is his 31st birthday and it seems like things in his life are worse than ever. My wife is absolutely shattered over this. When she's not crying she is staring blankly into space. She says she wants to do something for him. I on the other hand, while very concerned, am angry and disgusted. I told her that there is no way he is coming to live with us, even on a temporary basis. I am also not willing to give him a single cent to get out of this latest fix. Personally I have a good mind to tell him that we want him out of our lives and don't call us unless you get your life together. My loser alcoholic uncle was living with my elderly grandparents when he was in his 50's and I will not tolerate that with my kid. He's a grown man for crying out loud. But part of me worries that this is the wrong thing to do. Prescription pain killer addiction is the first step to heroin addiction. I guess part of it is that deep beneath my tough love exterior, I feel guilty about cutting off ties with him. Part of my strong feelings come from holding the past against him. I understand that addiction is a disease and bad things happen to good people, and if this was the first rough patch in his life I would be more compassionate and willing to do whatever I could to help, but I just can't stop thinking about all the BS, lies, and stealing from his teen years and the two times he lived with us as an adult that ended with him getting kicked out. I am also concerned that this latest episode could end my marriage. God forbid, if he overdosed or killed himself it would just destroy his mother. I also feel a bit selfish because I want my house for myself. It's just been the wife and I and the dog for nearly a decade and I DON'T want a roommate, I want my peace, quiet, and privacy.

    Is it tough love or am I being an uncaring jerk? Is there a way I can help our son without enabling him?
  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Scott,
    I don't normally post in the PE Forum as I am usually on Sub Abuse Forum but when I read the title of your post it struck a chord...

    Like you, I have an adult son who is hooked on pain pills and is about to be homeless (should have been told to leave our home this past Monday)...sigh, but mom is the "softie".

    We have 2 son's that have been dealing with addiction problems for around 10 yrs now. Our oldest is currently sober, owns his own business and home and has baby girl number 3 on the way in September. He has spent time in prison for stealing while on Meth...but thank the Lord today he is sober.

    We also have a 24yr old son now who has been living in our home since December when he was released from Prison for spitting at police and then putting his hand through windsheild of wifes car with his children in the backseat.
    As I said, he is addicted to pain medications. As of today I gave him 2 more weeks til he MUST get out of our we are beginning to see evidence of drug use, Examples...Never having any money just a few days after paychecks, sleeping lots, asking to borrow money, lying to his wife about how much money he has saved, having dinner at his wifes (mother in law's house) and acting "strange" in daughter in law's words, my sleep medicine: Trazadone disappearing, etc etc etc.

    Enough is enough. I don't think you are being a Jerk to put an end to the cycle. I have finally said enough as of today...By letting our difficult child (Gift from God as we call them around here) continue to live off of us...we ARE ENABLING, meaning we are supporting our son's drug use and demise.

    It is not love. It feel's unkind because "love is so gracious and giving" right? But what are we really giving to???
    Drugs. That is all. We are feeding an insatiable urge, addiciton. We are not supporting our son's positive choices and good behavior. We are supporting our son's demise and potential death. Is that loving?

    As for your wife...I get it, I truly do.
    While my oldest was in prison 6 yrs ago, I had a Pyschotic breakdown. Now, I won't say that it was his fault...but I was in deep desperate pain over his situation.
    The only thing I can suggest is that the two of you go to marriage counceling that deals with family addiction...and also Al Anon for those that love those with addiction.

    I am so sorry you are in this "boat" so to speak. It is horrible to see our son's "drowning" and feel like the lifepreserver is in our hands and we are not doing all we can to help...but sometimes the "sink or swim" approach is necessary when you've tried everything else.

    I wish I had more to offer right now...just thinking aloud about your son, you and wife and how much it resembles my own.

    You know the right thing to do is often the hardest.
  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My son turned 35 last week and he has, in my opinion, only gotten worse over the past 3 years. He was clean and sober for about 2 years, started a relationship with the girl from h***. I met her once and had to call the police to stop the harassment.

    I fell for a homeless con for money for about 4 months. After I stopped giving money he play the 'suicide' card and I was fed up. My son actually went no contact with me around November.

    I refuse to play his game and until he is serious about getting help I am OK with the no contact. It's just too stressful and the drama was driving me crazy.

    You and your wife are enabling your son. As long as you continue to give him a place to live, food to eat, and money to spend as he wishes he is not motivated to change.

    It's sad, it's hard, it's heartbreaking. We all understand. They make us feel like **** because we want them to be responsible and grow up. I also thought mine would one day grow out of it, I'm still waiting. There is no way that you can make your son change for the better - it's something he will have to do for himself.

    There are a lot of very good books on enabling. This one is free and a great place to start. Counseling is also a good place to start.

    (((hugs and blessings)))
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are not being a jerk. You are trying not to enable his crippling behavior so that maybe things will get bad enough that he will turn around. Picking him off t he floor or giving him money (which he very well might spend on drugs rather than the intended reason) wont help him. If he is debt by $20K, rather than dig into your retirement, let him go bankrupt. If he is about to lose his house, he is hardly alone. Many people have forclosed. Our drug using kids are resourceful and tend to find places to sleep.

    And, to be honest, they care less about where they sleep than if they get their drugs of choice. Sounds like both are addicted. They are not going to be able to function until they quit. If they quit. I'd make it a condition of coming home that he go into a rehab and then follow up.Any drug use and he's out again. At his age, I wouldn't give him a dime. Although you say mom is a softie, you are also softhearted, which is normal. We love our kids. We don't want to think of what may happen if we don't help them. But the fact is, even if we do help them, the same things will happen unless they QUIT.

    I highly recommend both you and your wife go to Nar-Anon, which will teach you that you can not control ANYONE other than yourself, not even a beloved child. It also teaches you how to go on and live a great life even while your loved one is self-destructing. Don't let him take you down with him. Reconnect with your wife. If she won't let you and refuses to make a life for herself, then do it with your friends and other family members. There is absolutely nothing you can do by worrying and feeling guilty. If you do go to Nar-Anon, they will not make you speak. You can listenl to wise parents and spouses of drug addicts who have been where you're at, are still there, and many who have much wisdom to pass along.

    I'm sorry you are going through this with your son. But you can still a nd should still have a life beyond his problems. Hold out a hand in case he wants to truly quit, but don't get overly entangled in his problems. You are right that he is an adult and you have to let him be one. You can not control how your wife deals with your son, but you can take your own path and find peace and happiness again. In spite of your son.

    There is NOTHING you, your wife or even God can do to help your son unless he wants help. HE has to help himself. Not one person in the world can do it for him. Don't be fooled into thinking it is any other way. He walks this path alone. He controls himself. You don't.
  5. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Welcome, Scott.

    You sound exactly like my own husband. (This is a good thing.) The paths we are required to walk and the things we are required to confront when our children are in this kind of trouble are not easy. There is no right solution; there is no decision we can make that helps everyone function normally, again. What my husband and I have learned to focus on is consequences TO US of our actions, and finding alternatives to that (mostly my) urge to bring the kids home and clean them up and make life good, again.

    This site will be a good place for you to figure out how to do that, and to learn what the alternatives are.

    Our son had turned his life around too, years ago. Beautiful woman he wanted to marry. But once he started working steadily, he started using steadily again, too. For a while, he was able to do both. Then, she left him.

    And that was all he needed, to justify falling apart.

    What finally worked for us, and for our son (and maybe these things had nothing to do with our son's recovery), was for us to tell him:

    He had been raised better than to do what he was doing.

    This is important. It is not your fault that your son is using. There is absolutely no way you can stop using, for him. You can, however, remind him that he was raised to know better, and to do better, than what he is doing. The blame, and the responsibility, are his. Also, he has a responsibility to you, and to his mother, to do better than to destroy himself with drugs. It is fatal for parents to blame themselves or to try to solve these problems for, their addicted children. (Though we do it, and can always figure out some way to take the blame, if we look hard enough.) If you blame yourselves, your child will blame you, too. Then, there is no one left to be the strong center around which the family can coalesce, once the addiction has been beat.

    We loved him too much to watch him destroy himself.

    This phrase sends the clear message that what the child is doing is wrong, and that it will destroy him. These are two beliefs addicts do not have about their addictions. They think it is somehow alright to do what they are doing, and they think they will escape the horrendous consequences. On some level, our kids believe what we say to them in a way they do not believe anyone else, in the world. Whether it looks like he is listening or not, use that power to say words that will help your son turn himself around. Maybe not today, but one day.

    We loved him too much to help him destroy himself.

    This meant no money, no moving home, no paying bills so he could use whatever money he had to poison himself. We were not able to reach this point and mean it until our son had moved home and left home, and moved home and left home, any number of times. We only reached that point after years of addiction, and after years of learning from the other parents on this site. Every one of us needs to do what he or she can live with. We all need to be able to look into our mirrors in the morning, and not hate ourselves. We are all looking at the very real possibility that our children will not survive their addictions.

    There are no answers.

    Each of us does the best we know.

    We come here to share our stories, and to gain strength for the next assault. Sometimes, there are good endings; sometimes, good and positive things happen.

    The McCoy link at the bottoms of my posts contains information, words for us to use, when talking to our troubled adult children. Please take a moment to check it out. It was very helpful, to me.


    P.S. If Scott is your real name, please think about changing your name, here. We do not use our real names in our titles, and we are purposefully vague about our true locations, to protect ourselves and our families. Also, anonymity enables us to be honest about what is happening to us, and to our kids.

  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. I am so sorry you and your wife have been dealing with this for so long, it is a terrible landscape to live on. You've gotten good advice and support, you are not being a jerk, you are being a parent, a parent who loves his son and wants to do what is the best for him. The best thing for your son is for you and your wife to find a way to be okay, happy even, in spite of what your son is doing. And, usually, we need help to do that. You may want to read the article at the bottom of my post on detachment, and share it with your wife. My recommendation is to seek support, seek help, therapy, al anon, family groups, whatever feels right to you, but find a someone or a group to help guide you through this treacherous path.

    I know how your wife feels and I also understand and know how you feel. You are both in the middle of this horrific story your son has written and truthfully, both of you are powerless to change it. To keep your peace and quiet intact is your right and what you deserve. I have had to make these same tough choices, I know how it feels to detach from your adult child. But, you must do it for your sake, your wife's sake and ultimately for your son's sake as well. Enabling is hurtful to everybody, including your son. You rob him of the possible choice he needs to make to straighten out his life. And, if he doesn't straighten out his life, it is NOT your fault, nor is there anything you can do about it. It is his life to throw away. Unfortunately he is not aware or chooses not to look at the bodies left in his wake.

    The best advice I can give you is to seek help. Find a way to live your own lives without your sons drama and chaos infiltrating your lives. I know that is a tall order, but it is a necessary choice. I hope you return and keep posting. It helps. I wish you peace.
  7. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    Thank you all for the support. Your words have confirmed what I already knew to be the right thing to do. I was simply having a moment where I was beginning to have some doubts. Well the situation may have resolved itself to some extent. On Saturday the boy calls his mother and tells her that his latest plan is to move to Florida. He's got a buddy who moved there a couple of years ago and supposedly this guy is going to let him stay at his house until he can get himself established. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, he was offered an opportunity by his former employer to get help for his addiction and have his job waiting for him when he got out out treatment. I am very disappointed that he refused the offer for help. While running away to Florida can certainly offer a new start in life, you can't outrun addiction and I would not be surprised if his old habits found him in short order. On the other hand, out of sight, out of mind. Hopefully with a few thousand miles between us it will lessen the control he has over his mother. There's going to be no more "Can I borrow $200. I need it TODAY or my lights are getting shut off." He can't just swing by and get cash.

    Personally I feel today that I have absolutely zero problem detaching. Maybe it's the anger talking, because I have been very angry at him the last few days, but I have resigned myself to the fact that a leopard doesn't change its spots. He has been lying and manipulative since he was 14, basically more than half his life, why should I believe or even hope that he will ever change at this point? I love him, but I do not like him, and I feel at this time that I don't want to have a relationship with him, at least not one based on lies and manipulation. He is a grown man and frankly I find it disgusting that he is unable to provide for himself and that he has to resort to not only borrowing money from his parents, but doing so under false pretenses (getting paid on Friday and telling his mother on Sunday that he needs to borrow money to make his car payment) and then making little or no effort to pay us back or work it off. He made a big mess for himself, and now he needs to figure out how to fix it.

    Dealing with my wife is another story. I mentioned going to some sort of counseling and she will hear nothing of it. She feels that it is a waste of time. I also tried to discuss detachment. Again, she's not interested. She told me that she couldn't do it and that she wants to have a relationship with her son. My compromise there is that she can have an emotional relationship with him and that is it. I made it clear to her that he is never going to live under our roof, even on a temporary basis, and that he will get no more financial support from us once he goes to Florida, not even loans. I say once he goes to Florida because he doesn't even have the money to carry out his latest plans. Since it was his birthday last week, I reluctantly agreed to pay for his bus ticket to Florida, give him $200 in spending money, and a ride to the bus station. But I reiterated to my wife that this was it, and ONLY because it is his birthday, and I will tell my son again as well when I see him tonight.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Detaching doesn't mean "No contact." It means one is not enmeshed or overly vested in something/someone one cannot control.

    Your wife should have a relationship with your son - as should you. Your son's situation cannot dictate your emotional well-being. Your son cannot hold you hostage to his wants and needs.

    One can be "detached" and still buy birthday presents. It is not an all-or-nothing scenario.

  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Also - mere distance will not stop requests for money.

    You and your wife may want to rehearse a few responses so you are both ready when the first phone call comes....
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the update. You're doing a good job, detaching is difficult but you seem to have your ducks in order.

    I'm sorry you and your wife aren't on the same page, denial usually keeps the enabling going, so the next time your son tries to manipulate money from you, you and your wife may once again be at odds. It makes it challenging for you. I hope she can abide by your wishes that your son won't live under your roof again and no more money. My experience is that if our kids don't make the necessary changes in their lives on their own, they will continue with the negative behaviors, so if your son heads out to Florida and continues his addiction, he may burn the bridge he is attempting to build. If that happens he will once again be either at your door step or calling for money. I don't want to sound like a naysayer, however, I've seen this before on this site and in my own life, so you may want to do whatever you can to prepare for that, both for yourself and what the inevitable results will be when you and your wife are not on the same page and your son is awaiting money or rescuing from you. Enabling will keep all of you stuck.

    Hang in there, this detachment process has many mine fields............I wish you peace...........
  11. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Each parent reaches that point when they understand that nothing they do will help their child in his or her own time. That is why so many of us lose our marriages.

    You did the right thing for your marriage in making it possible for your son to go far away. You cannot change the way your wife feels about her son. What you can do is to understand her pain. Be supportive. Tell her you are sorry this is happening, to her and to you and to your son. Your situation (and mine, too) are tragedies.

    We are losing everything we hoped for, everything that defined us or that meant anything to us.

    It is all out of our control.

    Where a man will acknowledge his anger and frustration, a woman whose child is in danger will internalize those feelings. She will become depressed.

    I am sorry, but the more firmly you tell her how things are going to be regarding your son, the less she will hear you. If, through compassion, you can enter her world, if you can understand where she is coming from, then the two of you will be united, again.

    Years ago, when we were where you are now, my husband demanded only one thing of me: At 5:30 every day, I was to meet him in our own dining room. No phone, no television. We would have a Manhattan together. We played music that was old and happy, to create that special time in our minds. (Dean Martin :O)

    It saved our marriage.

    At the time, my husband was the last person I wanted anything to do with. I didn't care about the house or the life we'd created. Without successful children, everything turned to ashes in my mouth. There was truly no reason for me to stay there. husband was mad alot, yelled alot, was disgusted about the kids, and I resented it more than I can tell you. He became very pale to me, almost a caricature. It wasn't even that I hated him. I literally did not care. If he wasn't the father I wanted for my children...who was he, to me? There just wasn't anything there to hold us together. I had no interest in another man either, so I stayed with husband. For all I know, he felt the same way.

    Losing a child is not easy on a marriage.

    And though our children are living, we have lost, or are losing, the dream family that was at the core of our marriages.

    Last month, we celebrated our 40th anniversary. Our marriage is not only a different thing than it was before our lives fell apart, it is a deeper, almost mystical thing. He has my back. He understands me. I know this because he shared his own grief, his own shame and desperation over the kids with me.

    It isn't easy, but if you love your wife enough to carry her through this, you can save your marriage.

  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Barbara, your post was particularly heartfelt and absorbed tonight. LOL, it may be the Cutty :) or it may just be because it was so "real". The spousal interaction with the difficult child's issues are not easy. I admire your husband for stipulating that you all share one on one time. IF it were possible to fall back and regroup, sigh, maybe I could have improved the connection between spouses with-o concentrating on our boy to the max. It is a crutial decision and early on is the best time to recognize your focus. DDD
  13. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    The latest update is a bit good news/bad news. When we last left our story, #1 son was supposed to be Miami bound on a Greyhound on Saturday morning. He hadn't told his 20 year old plaything of his plans. He told his mother that once he got his life turned around he would send for her if he still wanted to have a relationship with her. Meanwhile 20 year old plaything goes to rehab (she's addicted to pills too). We don't know if she went on her own or if it was at the urging of her family (we have never met her parents so we don't know anything about them, or really her for that matter). On Thursday he calls his mother crying that he's in love with this girl and can't stand the thought of being without her for that long. He wants to know if there is any way he could possibly save his house. Speaking of which, the time for that appears to be long over. Last week his bank sent him a notice to accelerate. If you are not familiar, basically the bank is giving him 30 days to bring the mortgage current or the entire outstanding balance becomes due. Foreclosure follows soon after that. So after living in his house for free for the last 10 months, it looks like that ride will soon come to an end. Gotta give the kid credit though, he was busliy trying to find a way to be with his girl. His godfather was always close to him growing up, and he referred to his godparents as "aunt" and "uncle". Well his godfather got divorced 15 years ago and headed to South Carolina. He could be described as a hippy turned born again Christian. He has agreed to take my son AND his girlfriend in. Only problem is the 20 year old plaything is in rehab for 90 days. When she tellls our son she doesn't want to leave he is crushed. Now here's where the good starts to kick in........He calls his mother and tells her how in love he is and how he can't stand to be without her. He begs and pleads to allow him to stay with us.......and my wife REFUSED. (YAY MOM!!!!). She simply told him that it could not happen and if their love was meant to be, they would wait for each other and find a way to make it happen.

    Well one bad decision deserves another. By Saturday my son manages to convince 20 year old plaything to leave rehab and go to South Carolina with him. Mom agrees to drive an hour to go pick 20 year old plaything up at rehab. Wife slipped back a bit when she asked if they could stay at our house for a few days before they left since the electricity was soon to be shut off at his place. "Absolutely not" was my reply. "They can sit in the dark for all I care, he needs to feel a bit of discomfort for his poor choices." Wife agreed and that was the end of that.

    So last night we are getting ready to sit down to dinner when the boy calls. He wants to know if we can pick them up and bring them to our house. Apparently they are bored sitting there with no money, no car, and no cable TV and the 20 year old plaything is feeling depressed. My wife explained that we were just about to sit down to dinner and we wouldn't be running out to pick them up. Now the thing that makes me fuming angry toward my son is when his manipulative ways don't work out, he starts to become angry and abusive. He starts raising his voice with his mother. Next he has the absolute brass balls to ask her if he could borrow our car so they could go out if someone gave him a ride to our house. I'm proud of my wife when she told him that if they were bored and wanted to go out, there was a Dunkin Donuts a mile from their house and it was a nice night for a walk. He continued to whine and carry on like a spoiled child and my wife simply told him "I have to go now." and she hung up the phone and we sat down and enjoyed dinner.

    This morning my wife told me that she would miss him, but she finally feels that she just wants him to go. We shall see. The latest plan is that they would be leaving tomorrow (Tuesday). Since it was his birthday recently we agreed to buy both of their bus tickets and give them $300 in cash with the stipulation that this would be the last financial support of any kind he would be getting from us ever, and that it all hinges on them getting on a bus and leaving town. I am planning on taking the day off from work tomorrow and drive them to the bus station where I will personally buy the bus tickets and hand them the cash as they board the bus. No cash in advance, and no cash at all if they don't leave.

    While we don't think what he is doing is in his best interest (ideally he would have gone to rehab when he was given the chance), I hope that it is in our best interest as (assuming he actually does go) there will be over 1000 miles separating us. Let's just hope that they get on the bus tomorrow.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is all good. He sounds like my oldest. When he doesn't get what he wants from me, he yells, swears and is abusive. I know I could never live with him again. However, he gets no money from me.

    I'm wondering if he has a cell phone that you are still paying for. Also, a suggestion: If they are drug abusers never ever give them cash. If you want to contribute to food or something else for their needs put a small amount of money on a gift card to a specific restaurant or clothing shop. If you feel you MUST pay their rent, mail a check to the renter.

    Drug addicts will use any money they are given for drugs.
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wow! Good for Mom!!!

    It's hard to hold the line when kids are pushing every button...

    Sounds like you guys are holding strong!
  16. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Given the situation, this is absolutely the best thing you could do. After they leave, it will be a good idea for you both to be prepared for heart-rending phone calls. The "McCoy" link on the bottom of my postings is an excellent resource for understanding what to say to our troubled adult children in those kinds of situations.

    You two did great! It isn't easy.

  17. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    You just can't make this stuff up. It's like a bad soap opera. I haven't told my employer yet that I need to take the day off tomorrow, so before telling my boss, I called my wife to make sure that the kid had his plans all firmed up and they were ready to go. Well apparently now 20 year old plaything doesn't want to go. My wife thinks it's because she doesn't want to give up the pills and is afraid she won't be able to find any easily if she goes to South Carolina. So as of right now, it's all up un the air. The device has yet to be invented that is capable of measuring how angry I am right now at my good for nothing loser of a son. He screws, up, screws up again, and then screws up some more. He's extremely lucky that at the age of 31 there are two people (his buddy in Florida and his godfather in South Carolina) who are willing to take him in and give him a place to stay. But what are his priorites? Having sex with his 20 year old girlfriend and getting high. Well **** that! I'm tired of his **** and I'm tired of fighting with my wife over him. My wife is angry, but STILL not yet angry enough for the full on detachment. Personally, I am. At this point I want to give him an ultimatum, spell out his choices, and spell out the consequences. Basically I want him on a bus out of town or own his way to rehab by the end of this week or the offer to pay his (and the 20 year old plaything) way to Florida or South Carolina will be revoked and we will refuse to have any contact with him. That's the place I am at right now, but unfortunately the wife isn't there. She wants him to go, but does not agree with giving him an ultimatum. So another fight that ends up with my wife hanging up on me.
  18. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Deep breaths! Calm....calm....calm...

    What you are describing is NOT detachment - it is anger....and frustration ....and wanting control.

    Ask yourself why your son's bad choices are YOUR responsibility?

    Why do you care WHERE he ends up living right now? As long as it is not your house - it does not affect you!

    Why are you so determined to give him money? If he really, really wanted to get somewhere - he would. You would be surpised how resourceful these kids can be as soon as the bank of Mom and Dad is closed!

    And what in the world is the point of an ultimatum? You cannot enforce anything - other than your own choices.

    Step back. Stop thinking about your son for a while (easier said than done - I know!). Do something nice for yourself and your wife.

    Let your son have control of his own life.

    Listen. Do not engage.

    When he tells you about yet another harebrained scheme - nod your head, and repeat "yep, yep - good luck with that! Let us know how it works out...". The End! No arguing. No advice. No ultimatums. No anger.

  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think DaisyFace has excellent points and I also understand how difficult it is to go through this with our kids. So much of it is our learning how to let go and there is A LOT of anger in that as we go through it. I am deeply sorry you are experiencing this with your son. I completely understand your anger about it and at least for me, I had to go through that anger because the anger blew out the cobwebs of my enabling and allowed me to see everything differently. Anger is a stage in the process of's a tough one too..........but it often kicks us into action that needs to be taken. It's unfortunate that your sons choices are driving a wedge between you and your wife, again, that is another unfortunate occurrence with our adult children and their bad choices.

    For me much of the anger was that I was enabling my daughter and the resentment about that can be overwhelming.................stop giving him money, step back and ask yourself what is it you can give with love and give it. If you can't give with love mostly everything else is rescuing him with resentment. Don't give him anything you don't want to give and that anger will start to subside. I get how angry you are, I've felt that many times before................your sons life is his, let him suffer the consequences of his bad choices, don't step in to save him, otherwise he will not learn.
  20. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I don't post on this forum usually but I too saw this title and came to read your post and felt I needed to respond.

    I think you are absolutely thinking clearly about what you need, your wife needs and what your son needs. Which is for your son to stand on his own two feet, take whatever path he chooses. You've done everything you possibly can. Probably more than many would have. It's the right time at this age and stage of his life to truly "let go".

    I separated from my life partner of nearly 10 years, just one month ago. Addiction issues. I'm talking a man who my world revolved around and who I wouldn't have replaced for all the tea in china. He was the love of my life. His addiction was under control. He'd been sober a LONG time. He went on a binge, I made him leave that first binge night and have now moved into a new apartment (last week) with my 14 year old daughter. He moved into, you guessed it, his mothers house. Well his mothers small 2 bedroom basement apartment. She has enabled him (and 2 of his other 3 siblings that also have addictions) to the point they always have a place to turn when they ruin everything good in their life. Is it a disease? Certainly. It is also a disease that has help out there for taking should a person want it.

    He is a grown man now. He must face the consequences of his actions, as should your son. They need to step up in their own lives now and get help, or take the wrong path further until eventually, hopefully, they hit bottom and recognize how much they do need that help and seek it out.

    I know with my now ex, his mothers enabling has permitted him (and his 2 addict siblings) to continue in his addiction by virtue of bailing him out with a place to stay. Restrictions, rules, conditions, well they don't exist for my ex. But even if they did, for example you and your wife setting rules and terms for your son to come to your home, well how does that help your son? Or my ex? Any adult addict? Plainly speaking, it does not help. In fact, it causes grave harm. There is a reason on all of those intervention shows on tv they always talk about the family's bottom lines. As in no money, no car, no contact, no housing, no NOTHING until the person seeks help and gets sober. And that is usually when addicts make their life long decision between sobriety or living in their addiction.

    Perhaps you and your wife could spend a day having a Intervention marathon, watching old episodes. They are online and netflix etc. Watch the addicts together, their loved ones, see the things you all have tried in the stories that you will see. I'm certain you would both relate. And each episode you can benefit together by seeing how closing that open door to your adult son could just one day be the thing that saves his life or saves his future.

    I'm a firm believer that this is truly the right path with adult addicts that we love. Saying no more is a gift of love. Saying okay, we will do xyz if you do xyz is merely pretending something will be different than it was all of the other times and it is in essence usually based in selfishness. Not selfishness in the greedy self centered sense. But selfish in that its easier to set conditions for someone we love than to truly let go of someone we love. So essentially, in continuing to assist in any fashion is often really to help us all feel we are expressing our love. Please stick to your guns and your gut instinct. True love means saying no sometimes. Sometimes under heart breaking circumstances.