Adult son- world will not be the same in a few days

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by tryingtobestrong, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. tryingtobestrong

    tryingtobestrong New Member

    I had posted before that my son lives on the other side of the USA and his girlfriend is leaving him this week unannounced. My husband and I are flying out to be there to support him although I fear he will hate us for not telling him we knew. We can't though because we don't want him to manipulate her into staying.
    His world will be crushed- she is taking their dog. He will still have his other 3 pets though.
    He will need to move from his apartment because he can't afford that on his income. He just accepted a new position at work which will make him accepting rehab a very big challenge. He was highly recommended for his new position even though it is a lower salary. He feels it will make him more knowledgeable for when he applies to be a supervisor...... Its ripping my heart out.
    I know he qualifies for FMLA but not sure if that position will be open when he gets out of rehab - if he goes.
    If he chooses not to go.... how do I walk away and fly back home knowing what could happen. I know I have to Let go and Let God.... SO very hard. He doesn't drive so he will need to hire a moving company. He will have to take Uber to visit new apartments... SO much to think about.
    If he accepts rehab... then we need to board his cats... That is costly.
    They all suggest sober living which I agree because he has no friends there so at least he would have people around him which makes me feel better... that means longer cat boarding... At $15-$25 a day... that will add up.
    So many things to think about. Praying he finally sees what his alcohol abuse has done.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can he take public transportation? Uber seems awfully expensive. Can you take care of his cats instead of boarding them?

    He has to do this himself. Our grown kids sometimes get their hearts broken badly. Like all adults there are relationship busts, bad marriages, divorces, custody battles, job losses, disappointments....why? Because that's life. Life isihard for everyone. The Mom thing doesn't work when they grow up. A hug and a toy doesn't work. Was so easy then, wasn't it??? It is hard to see our loved ones heartbroken but that is a part of life.

    The addiction is on your son. You can't make him get clean. I hope he decides to. Mom and Dad however can not make our adult kids all better. My youngest daughter had a hard break up when she was just 18 and she was very upset. It broke my heart but she had to work it out and she is fine now, but there was nothing I could do to help her; except talks and hugs and giving her space, I was powerless. It did make her stronger. And life gets better too. She is engaged and graduating from Law Enforcement in two weeks. Turns out this man is perfect for her. Her old heartche really was not. Remind your son there are others out there

    I wish you the best of luck and remember that your son's trials are just a part of adult life. Nobody is unscathed or never hurt or never has to make a hard choice. He has to do it his way, even if it'd it's not your way.

    Love and light!
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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  3. Tired mama

    Tired mama Active Member

    Sounds like there is a lot of details to consider. I am a little confused though if he doesnt know about this how do you know that he will be willing to do any of what you want him to. As was already said he is an adult who apparently has some success at his job. He may not react the way you think he will. You are making major decisions about his life without his knowledge or consent. You have decided he has to move and board his cats and use uber ... I dont mean to be critical but i think you need to take a few steps back. I will be praying that everything works out for the best.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow, Tired Mama. Good post. I missed a lot.

    You as parents are planning his whole life. HE has to plan it. None of what you plan for him are his idea and you can't tell him what to do.

    Perhaps there is too much enmeshment? You know, I am sure, that your plans may not be his at all from the apartment to rehab to sober living. You really can't make his decisions for him. He doesn't have to listen.

    I hope you can truly let go and let God. He is going to do what he wants.

    Love and hugs!
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  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am sorry to be blunt. But these are boundary issues.

    Personally I think you are too involved in his personal life. If I were him I would be furious if, one, you flew out and inserted yourself in my affairs, without my consent, knowledge, and behind my back. And two, withheld info from me about my life.

    Your options as I see them are to stay put and wait for his call. And/or call him now and tell him what you know and how you know it.

    Those are consistent with a relationship of respect between two adults.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  6. tryingtobestrong

    tryingtobestrong New Member

    My son is an alcoholic. He has been drinking for many years and she warned him that she is done with the drinking. She told me that we should know she is leaving so that we could be there because he will not be well. Every time she has tried breaking up before he throws the suicide card and does cut for self harm. She isn't telling him out of fear.
    The reason we are going out is to hold an intervention to help him to realize the drinking is what is the problem. His selfishness, controlling and manipulative ways as well.
    My other "plans" are because I know the situation. Their rent is $1500 a month. He can't stay there because he doesn't make the income they require to live there. He doesn't drive because he chose to sell his car due to his dui and wanted to continue to drink and smoke weed so by selling the car he doesn't have to worry about a dui.

    If the intervention works then he will go to inpatient rehab.... I can't wait to make the plans to board his cats. I can't fly them back with me either.

    He admitted a few months ago that the alcohol was ruining their relationship and chose not to get help. He continues to drink everyday (per her information).

    It is not that I am trying to plan his life. With the intervention, we needed to have answers to his reasons as why not to go and his number one would be because who would care for his cats.
    Yes, he uses public transportation but to get the stop he takes uber.
  7. Tired mama

    Tired mama Active Member

    So he is aware his drinking is the problem and still chose not to get help isn't that the purpose of the intervention? I mean to get him to understand what he already does seems destined to fail. What he does about the apartment and the cats is his problem not yours. I am sorry i may sound harsh and you may not be ready to detach but you need to let him face his own consequences. My brother is an addict clean for many years my son following that path. My brother said to me until he reaches the point where HE decides that his drinking is ruining his life he will not change. HE has to hit bottom. He told me to stop helping and let him figure it out. If you have read my posts you will know i struggle with this it is hard. But i ask for strength for me and pray for him. You have to decide what you can live with but please let him decide what he can live with.
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  8. RN0441

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


    Have to agree with the others here. You are stepping in to make this fall soft for him. That could further his disease along and keep him from getting help.

    If he is an alcoholic he will lose this job most likely. It's not what you want as his mom but he does have to adult and do this on his own. He has to own this. All of it.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Not to keep piling it on, but he moved across the country maybe because, whether or not he succeeds, he doesn't want his parents scrambling around him trying to fix him.

    There is absolutely no guarantee he will accept rehab and if he goes, maybe because you offer him some prize, he isn't committed to quitting. He actually gave his car up to continue to drink, smoke weed, and who knows what else. Without motivation, he won't stay.

    If he wanted parental involvement at this level not even a girl could make him move away. There are girls who live near you. I think it is healthy that he moved away, even if he is not healthy in other ways. Although he should have picked s less pricey area. I assume he picked the west coast, which is not good common sense if you don't make a lot of money.

    I don't think k you should have talked to his girlfriend. "That's between you and my son." It says a lot that she felt he was too weak to go through this alone. She slso sees the over involvement. He must grow up. You can't live forever. Then what will he do?
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    tryingtobestrong....I agree with the other posters........however, I also remember quite clearly when I was in the throes of my own enabling issues that seeing my way clear out of a situation where I thought I could save my daughter was very, very difficult. I imagine you believe if you don't help your son, do it all for him once he finds out his partner is leaving, that he will fall into a deep pit you not only won't be able to remove him from, but in the end, whatever happens, you will feel it is your fault, that you should have done more. We parents seem to have no end to the level of help we offer our adult troubled kids.

    Right now, you are doing what you believe to be the best thing for your son.....none of us can fault you for that, many of us have been there many, many times. Many of us have tried, and tried, and tried to save our kids only to discover, sometimes years in, that all of our help did not do what we intended and in many cases, it prolonged the problem.

    I hear that you are earnestly, willingly and ready to do whatever it takes to help your son. Perhaps he will agree to Rehab and everything you want for him. Or he won't. Either way you have to do what your heart can all of us do.

    We're not judging you. We understand how difficult this is. We're attempting to offer a different perspective which we have found through our own journeys through this maze. However, you know your son and we don't. Perhaps this time it will be different and he will begin the process of healing. I hope that's the case. If it is, or it isn't the case, please continue posting....we're here to support you with whatever choices you make. This stuff is hard. We generally go all over the map before we find a place we can stand that feels right.

    At some point, if you want to detach from your son's choices and behaviors, you may want to look into getting professional support, perhaps a therapist or 12 step groups like Al Anon or Families Anonymous. You might try reading the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here.

    Hang in there're not alone.
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  11. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Depending on how badly addicted he is, and how strong of a commitment he has to giving up the alcohol, he might be able to just go to detox and outpatient rehab. He seems to be happy with his job, so maybe it can be a good diversion for him. There are outpatient rehab programs in the evening, but I don't know if that would be right for him.
  12. RN0441

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

    New Leaf says it best as always. Yes hope I didn't sound harsh but I guess we get a bit jaded by our own experiences.

    It's not easy and no judgement here. But you deserve to have peace to.

  13. tryingtobestrong

    tryingtobestrong New Member

    He moved away to a state that has legal marijuana. He moved because that was his dream.
    He abused alcohol at home. Got a dui within 3 months of moving out there. YES! We know now that our helping enabled him. We are done. There is no prize if he goes to rehab other than we will board his cats for him so he doesn't have to worry about them. That was always his reason not to go plus the job. FMLA should save his job for him.
    I have not spoken to my son since February. We text rarely. I don't give him any money nor pay for anything. She told me she was planning to leave and felt someone needed to be there because he will most likely try to harm himself.
    My husband and I are seeing a counselor. HE IS THE one who recommended we do an intervention with him so I hired one. We are also going to Al-anon.
    If my son chooses not to go to rehab, we are done. It will kill me to walk away but I will have to.
    I fear for his cats. They don't deserve what will happen if he doesn't get help.
    He told his girlfriend he has an alcohol problem but still drinks. He has stomach issues and gets scared but continues to drink....
    Hoping God takes him soon.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Many people stop drinking. There are really new beginnings. If you are so fearful and find his condition so without hope that you pray for his death, I might question going to his side, for you and him. An acquaintance can take the cats. Or the SPCA.

    Many people, millions, have turned their lives around from the bottom. I would let him be to find what he can. He has a job. Shelter. Cats. many many people have far less. There is a.a. there is outpatient rehab. He can help himself in place.

    Alcoholism Is lifelong. My s.o. is an alcoholic. He no longer drinks. But he drank on and off many years. He stopped once 19 years and now 8 years. He never believes he has this licked.

    The nature of the beast is addiction. But addiction can be treated. He has access to both treatment and support where he is. And being an addict while lamentable does not mean his life is not worth living. There is always hope. That is what I think.
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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I hope you don't mean he no longer lives his life. He can recover. My daughter quit doing meth and cocaine. If she can do it, he can. I honestly thought she would end up dead or in prison. It was shocking to us when she quit. It was fast and unexpected and without rehab.

    I hope the intervention works. If not, you tried your hardest.

    I am an animal lover. Will his ex take the cats if he cant?

    You are trying to be loving to him. Don't give up. As Copa said, people quit drinking every day. It is NOT hopeless, even if this one time fails and it may not fail. He can still have a good life and so can you and your husband.

    Love and light. I know you are stressed right now, but don't give up hope. Please.
  16. tryingtobestrong

    tryingtobestrong New Member

    I get very upset and emotional when I read some of the replies. I feel hopeless because he just always resists help. This has been going on for so many years. I seriously have learned my lesson on enabling from 2 years ago.
    When she told me she was leaving a few months ago she wanted to tell me because we both know how he reacts and she feared for the cats not being taken care of. she can't take the cats with her. She is taking the dog. He has no close friends there.
    The lease on the apartment is up in 2 months. All 3 of our names are on the lease- yes a stupid move on my part but at the time I didn't know what was lying ahead.

    When he lived at home, we tried many times getting him to go for help. He went a few times to a therapist and then stopped. He moved away then after college to start his new life... Threatened suicide when she broke up with him over the phone right after his dui. Received text after text that night of his passwords, his instructions, how Robin Williams was a millionaire and still took his life so I was to let him die.... I called for a well check on him and they admitted him to the hospital... yes, we flew out the next day to try to get him to get help. I guess we shouldn't be going out this time. I have the interventionist now since our counselor recommended it. This will be the last time.

    I feel hopeless. I want him to recover. I know he has to fall but then who cleans up the mess? If he doesn't pay the rent, our credit goes down as well. We are tied into it until the lease is up. IF he trashes the apartment because he is angry, who is responsible? I assume all 3 of us.

    Sorry for being emotional. I love him so as you all love your children too. I'm just so exhausted from all of this over the years.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Look. Nothing at all has happened yet.

    This woman was cruel to involve you and self serving. She felt guilty about the cats. She put it on you.

    You are on high alert. And don't know where the danger is. There may not be danger.

    There are ways to handle any contingency but you tire yourself and panic to anticipate everything. There are ways to stay grounded and in the present. Like meditating.

    Do not apologize. Please. We all get this way. This is a process. Right now you need to attend to you. Not him.

    You had a profound insight that can help you both. Yes. The hopelessness is in you. In you you can work on it.
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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    tryingtobestrong, I can imagine your level of intense emotion right now, it is hard to know what to do......I'm so sorry you are struggling so with this choice. It feels awful to feel hopeless.

    I am not in favor of you choosing to go take care of your son right now, however, I want you to really know that whatever you ultimately decide to do, it is YOUR decision. None of us can stand in your shoes and truly know how you feel or what the right thing to do is, we can only offer you our own feelings about what you are doing......if this feels like your "final" rescue of him, then please, by all means, go. Very often we parents have to go to a certain length in helping our kids to really know, deep down, that we did everything possible......and then we can let go. I don't want to dissuade you from your plan if that is how you are looking at it.

    Don't apologize for being a mother who loves her son and wants to help, we are all emotional when it is about our kids......loving our adult children so much is what makes this so difficult.....

    I feel as the others do, however, we may be confusing you and making this more have to ultimately trust yourself to do what you believe is right. There will be other moments down the line where you can exert your detachment skill, this may not be the time for that, I don't know........ but you do. Dig deep and discover what it is you truly want right now.......and what you don't want The beauty of this site is you can read the responses and keep what makes sense to you, and discard what doesn't.

    We're trying to protect you from the heartbreak of losing yourself in your son's addiction, however, none of us truly can know what is right for you and your son......all we can do is offer you our experience, our understanding and our compassion. This is devastatingly hard, so if now is not the moment for you to begin detaching from your son, you'll know. If it is, you've got a tribe of parents here to support you. And, if you go, no matter how it turns out, we'll be here to support you then. There is no right way or wrong way, only what your heart can bear.

    Take a couple of deep breaths. I know what it's like to feel the fear you're can be overwhelming whether it's real or imagined......if it feels right, check out this guided meditation for inner peace, it's helpful to relax and let go of feeling overwhelmed.
  19. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello. I am not going to tell you what to do. I am going to tell you what AA and AlAnon says about this. An alcoholic has to learn that drinking has consequences. Why else would they ever want to quit drinking?

    Your son's drinking has cost him his girlfriend and his ability to drive. And yet, he continues to drink. So far, the cost hasn't been high enough. His threats of suicide if she leaves him is emotional blackmail. It is a tool addicts use to manipulate others to get what they want.

    When the cost of drinking is high enough, he will decide to quit. At that point, he can find rehabs, sober living facilities, and support groups on his own. It is his to do. It just takes a simple google search for a local AA meeting.

    When my daughter finally got sober, she found the rehab facility herself and followed up with a year of sober living. All the times I sent her to rehabs didn't work because she really didn't want to get sober and quit using drugs.

    The cats can go to a rescue group. Yes, it will hurt him to lose the cats but then again it will be one more consequence of his alcoholism.

    I will say that my therapist used to tell me that my daughter was remarkably resourceful when she needed to be. When I finally stopped rescuing her from her behaviors, she stepped up and took care of herself.

    Cosigning the apartment has put you in a difficult place. I get that. We cosigned an apartment for our daughter and she trashed the place. We lost the deposit but life went on. As RE said, we have all been where you are right now. We understand what you are going through and are just letting you know what we have learned along the way.



    ETA: I just reread your post and noticed that you said there was two months left on the lease. Since you cosigned, you will be responsible for rent whether he goes to rehab or not, right? So could you just pay the two months and tell your son he has that long to find a new place to live that will take cats? If he is working, he should be able to find something. At least this puts the problem on his shoulders. . . where it should be.
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    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  20. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    i agree with all of the posters above. Time to step back and let him figure things out. Hard as that is for you, I hope that you are getting help to learn to set the boundaries and detach. He needs to face the consequences and own his life. Are you prepared to spend the rest of yours picking up the pieces he leaves? I hope you know you are worth far more than that. Hugs to you! This is very hard but very often when we get out of the way, they find their way!
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