Am I really strong enough?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by lovemysons, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    As you all know...Young difficult child comes home on Monday. His wife is picking him up from Prison with their newest baby girl Jordyn. It will be a 10 hr roundtrip drive for daughter in law. They will probably get here sometime Monday night.

    I'm trying to figure out...what to say, what to do, and at the same time...I resent even the mere thought that I might walk on egg shells again at the hands of my young difficult child.

    First off...It will be my responsibility to get up by 5am and take young difficult child to work at least Monday through Friday if not Saturday and Sunday as well...See oldest difficult child where young difficult child will be working, works this hard!
    Then there's the sale of the house...It MUST be ready when a showing is scheduled. Young difficult child is messy, Terribly messy. You generally can "tell where he's been".

    I resent having to "hide knives, blades, etc". I resent that I must be the parent to face the PO when she shows up...Like she DID yesterday afternoon as the first "Prospective buyers" looking at our home were driving away. G-d help me. I don't want to be the parent of a convicted Felon. I don't want to go to the PO's office with him. I don't want to stay up at night monitoring his behavior. Dear L-rd...He's almost 24 yrs old.
    He is NOT a baby...and I have stop thinking of him that way. I have to let him grow up and make his choices and pay his consequences!!!

    I hope I am strong enough to do this. Just to absolutely let go.
    I will call the police or PO if he brings alcohol or drugs into our home again (trying to convince myself). I will call 911 if he gets suicidal again (again, trying to convince myself). I will not sheild him this time from HIS consequences.
    And...I SO HOPE I don't have to do these things.

    And...there are his children. All 3 of them. daughter in law has been telling their middle daughter that "Daddy will be home for your Birthday (she will be 3) December 21st". They are all counting on him to do the right work hard, to stay sober, to make/save money so that they can have their own place..."and live happily ever after".

    And of course, it's not just me...daughter in law's mother who daughter in law and the grandkids have lived with for over a year now, she too is filled with anxiety. daughter in law told me that she said the other day, "You can tell you know who is coming back into the picture as you are starting to get evil with me again".

    And on top of it all...I have been having some "female issues" lately. Think it's menapause, one minute nothing (for like 3 months) and now practically hemmoraging. The sale of the house, on pins and needles...First showing the comments afterward were that it is "priced to high" and they didn't like the "interior".

    PO is coming tomorrow to install monitoring equipment for young difficult child's ankle bracelet.

    I guess everyone in my family "thinks" I can do this...I can handle it. But I told my mom today, "In all honesty, If I have another psychotic breakdown like I did 5 1/2 yrs ago that they will then know that I am not strong enough...that I can't be pushed this hard."

    Maybe I am worrying for nothing...and I know AA/Al Anon would tell me not to project, to trust, not to enable...but to allow consequences. It is so hard...

    I hope I AM strong enough. I need to be...I really really do.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LMS, your anxiety is certainly warranted................past behavior often predicts future behavior.............except you've both had breaks and you know what your boundaries are now.............perhaps writing exactly what you just wrote in your post as a contract for your returning difficult child.........write down all your expectations, everything you need to have so that you are comfortable, safe, healthy and satisfied........all of it, he can't be messy in your home, he has to be sober.....respectful,...........if you are driving him to work, what can he do to help you? Will he be contributing to the household with rent? How will he help you and husband around the house? This is YOUR home, you are giving him a wonderful opportunity and you will need to have strong, unbreakable boundaries in place. You can do it as long as you remain true to yourself and don't allow difficult child to go over any of your boundaries...............get as much support as you can, and make your fears known so that others can help you...........if it feels right, write a contract out, have him read it, discuss it and have him sign it..............then what you want will be absolutely clear so there will be no loopholes.......

    My heart goes out to you, I can only imagine how you must be feeling right now as it's so close. I think you've gotten your resolve to stay healthy under control, any one of us would feel some anxiety as it's the unknown. You always have us here to support you and your groups too, keep yourself well supported as you embark on this new adventure. Lots of gentle hugs for you................prayers too..........
  3. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest


    You don't need to be strong enough to handle anyone's consequences but your own. As you said, his are his.

    And if you need a helping hand along the way, we are all here for you. I've learned to relax and lean on other people during this process. I was raised in an alcoholic home and chose the role of the 'perfect child". It was almost impossible for me to ever ask for help. I'm getting good at it and I'm encouraging you to do the same when you can.

    Trust that your Higher Power is in charge. The house will sell when it is supposed to sell. Maybe you can use the commute time to find some music which relaxes you, etc. While I know that's hard to think about when you are so to speak, in the weeds, I'm merely encouraging you to stop whenever possible and check in with yourself and ask, "How do I feel? What do I need?"

    Wishing you peace and serenity despite the storm.
  4. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Oh LMS, it's difficult child ptsd. My situation is not as critical as yours yet I feel like I need to be an octopus just so I can have a finger on every pot - because I am not sure which one is going to boil over when. And too many times they have all boiled over at once. You are trying to keep the lid on so many things...and I know that everyone is turning TO you for answers. Because that's what you do - you make sense out of the senseless and explain it to everyone else. And then you have to manage everyone to make sure they all follow the right plan. And it's fraught with anxiety and it's exhausting. I could tell you to stop projecting but you won't pay it heed. You have to be ready and aware. I get it.

    Here's the thing though - you can quiet your own anxiety until you stop letting other people add to it. I know your daughter in law's mom means well - but guess what? She just unloaded her anxiety onto your plate. I bet she feels a letter better. And you? You just got more anxiety heaped on your own. Something tells me that it's other people are also unloading their anxiety about your difficult child on to you. And your plate is overflowing.

    I was never an anxious person until about 4 years ago when I was gobsmacked with financial, marital, business strife + grief (lost my dad) + difficult child's unseen summer of debauchery. And none of those things resolved, in fact, life just kept getting worse.I commented about becoming the catcher in the rye in my own thread - and that's when I became "the Catcher". Ever vigilant, ever watchful, guarding that cliff AND needing to unearth each and every possible "worst case scenario" and then needing to have one (or more) courses of action planned "just in case" the worst came to past. Frankly, 4 years ago I was probably living a little too carefree. I should have saved more for a rainy day, we shouldn't have overextended ourselves for our dream home, I should have checked up on difficult child, checked up on my H's business, spent more time with my dad. And to compensate for that, I became this mess. A spreadsheet making, late night posting, cell phone bill checking, money hiding, mindless snacking, constant googling bundle of nerves in Spanx. There were days that I was so tense and so brittle that my H thought I would shatter. And he would get so frustrated with me. Which added to my anxiety. I needed to have all the cards, hold all the cards, deal the cards AND be prepared for the worst. I felt the need to be thinking TWO if not FIVE or TEN steps ahead. Sometimes, I think that things kept getting worse because I projected them. And you know what? My anxiety and hyper vigilance meant that I was working harder than everybody else to solve the problems they created. Lucky me. Really lucky them, because they could just hand it off to me...

    Don't be the Catcher. Stay out of his and daughter in law's relationship if it kills you. Do NOT become the referee between difficult child 1 & 2. Do not become the person difficult child turns to when he needs to know what he should do. He won't do what you tell him, and if he does, he will eventually blame you for something. And let difficult child and your husband develop, maintain, negotiate their own relationship. Make plans, dear friend. Library, casino, cheapy manicure, frozen yogurt, yoga class, etc. Have something planned to take you out of the house each and every day. Something that is just for YOUR benefit.

    Choose YOU. Your well being first. It's long overdue.

  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh lms, just wish it was easier. I'm experiencing the exact same thing with the beg. of menopause. It colors all else going on, or the stress going on is affecting that?

    I think I missed why he is coming to your house. Are there any sober half way houses he could go to instead?
  6. rita

    rita Member

    Morning LMS, could feel the tension and anxiety in your post. Sending you thoughts of peace and serenity. Try and live with what is happening in the here and now past is over and the future is yet to be. One day at a time..(( ))
    peace rita
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    As you know I am hoping and praying that this transition goes well. I've been wondering if it would help you to put in writing the rules for staying at your a contract that difficult child as well as you and husband sign. Perhaps having the boundaries in writing would ease some of the "what if" thoughts and limit the conversations that could add stress.

    Yes, I know how sensitive #2 has always been and how strong your natural instincts are to support him. on the other hand you really can not take responsibility for his choices now if he is ever going to feel like a man and a Dad. For example, what are the consequences if he "doesn't feel well" and it's time to leave for work? What if he is with SO and "loses track of time and wants you to come quickly and pick him up"? Maybe this weekend you should list all the possible scenarios and then figure out before he gets home what you can do or are willing to do "if" they arise. Perhaps confronting your hidden fears in writing (and preferably in agreement with your husband) will give you a sense of self protection and empowerment.

    Lordy I sure hope for the best but believe in preparing for the worst. I find that dealing with the unexpected increases anxiety and stress more than preplanning. Hugs DDD
  8. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I second DDDs idea of a written contract.

    The Family Program I went to this week discussed that plus even creating a relapse contract.

    Hope you are finding some peace today...
  9. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi LMS,
    Want to lend my support, and I concur with DDD and AG's suggestions. I think preparation is helpful when dealing with difficult child's. Try to take it one day at a time, and keep yourself healthy above all!
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Oh, and to answer your question: Are you really strong enough?

    Yes. And lean on us for strength.

  11. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    LMS, you are a very strong person, no doubt, and stressed out as it is with the menopause, selling of the house and general worries about the "what ifs". Let some of that go.

    Your difficult child is going to be highly stressed as well when he gets home - the last thing you need is to be feeding anxiety off of each other. Pressure to work long hours, being pretty much chained to the house when he is not, a wife and three kids who are trying to do the Ozzie and Harriet number with him while he is just comming out of a 6 x 8 foot box, a brother he is now going to be working with and there are still issues in that relationship. If you start off the whole process being resentful, he is going to feel that and I am guessing will tank in short order. I hear you that he is "23" but thats a chronological age, emotionally he is not at that place yet. If you want him to succeed, he will still need a bit of your help.

    Just take one day at a time.

  12. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    I was there with the menopause, difficult child, getting laid off, and selling a house. The meno by itself can be too much with out everything added to it.

    Exercise does help tremendously, and with your history I would be setting a doctor appointment. Chamomile tea (sleepy time) helped me - I was too wound up to be sleepy and it relaxed me. Meditation helps.

    My difficult child alwys tries to get me into his problems and that is one reason I stayed away from the current difficult child girl friend - it is also the reason (I think) that she started harrassing me. Step back and let difficult child handle his own problems.

    Contracts did not work with my difficult child - he agrees to everything then does nothing!

    Easier said than done when he is living under your roof - he is an adult with a wife and kids - he needs to find another place to live. I can not imagine trying to keep a home 'show ready' with a messy person living in it.

    (((blessing for us all)))
  13. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Best of luck LMS. As you know, you have no control over what he does and does not do. You allow him to take the lead for his life. It is his choice whether to make good or bad decisions, and your choice if you allow bad decisions to be made in your home.
  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LMS you are strong enough. But don't put this all on your shoulders. It is up to him to take charge of his life. I like the wortten contract. At the very least you need to sit down and talk to him when he gets home and let him know what you are willing to do and what your expectations are.

    Oh and come here for support!!!
  15. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    wishing you the strength you need and many hugs being sent your way.
  16. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I love you all...

    Well, I am feeling a bit calmer now. Especially after reading ALL of your supportive messages. So many good ideas for me to consider. Yes, the contract I think is a REALLY good idea. I will start work on that...kind of already have listed many of the "expectations" down on my notes in my phone. But, putting it into a contract and husband, myself, and young difficult child signing...hey, maybe even have daughter in law sign too...just show understands what is expected of young as well.

    PO came by the house hour late, sigh. She hooked up the monitoring equipment and answered a few of my questions, gave me directions to her office since I have to get young difficult child there within 24hrs of his release.
    I think she said he is expected to go to AA twice a week. He is expected to report to her office twice a month. And, she will make "home visits" once a month.
    I was just grateful she showed up in a normal vehicle today...not one marked "Adult Supervision" on the side.

    Had a showing between 2 and 3 today. Another scheduled for tomorrow between 11am and 1pm. The folks who looked at the house today stayed for some time, YAY! Even saw them visiting in the front yard for awhile. We really do live in a lovely neighborhood and have an elementary school right around the block from our house. When you look out our upstairs windows across the see a field of grazing cows...pasture land. It is fairly peaceful here on our corner lot...hoping it stays that one come Monday.

    While the showing was going on, I went to McDonalds and had carmal coffee with whipped cream. It was delightful. I talked long distance to my favorite Aunt Paula in Oklahoma. My uncle is a recovering alcoholic and she has loads and loads of Al Anon wisdom to share with me. She is such a dear.

    I am going to take this one hour at a time...and then one day at a time.
    I told husband last night...I am scared. He understands...but sigh, he is reminds me that I asked for this. That I am the one that wanted to give our home to young difficult child when he got out of prison. husband and I are not made the all. He is a VERY VERY driven soul. He works hard and plays hard. He has no time for "nonsense". He doesn't put up with the same amount of **** that I do. I told him last night that the way he talks to our son's sometimes really bothers me. He told me that he talks to them like his Peers...that he has for a long time now. Me...I talk to them like their feelings need to be carefully handled/considered. Anyway, Sig, you are right, I need to let husband and young difficult child develop their own relationship. I have probably made the mistake in the past of telling my children that husband is "not a caregiver"...sigh, that he is "lacking" something.

    And you know for the house, I realised this morning...that we don't HAVE to move. We can still pay the mortgage every month regardless of how long it takes to sell. I shouldn't sweat the "house part" out. As AG said, it will sell when it is supposed to.

    Oh and guess what? A new friend I have made, invited husband and I to a Steakhouse tonight for a double date dinner. Afterward, she and I are headed to the Casino! Smile, I'm enjoying the sound of that!!!
    I know I am bad...giggles, I am in a family of recovered this that or the other and I'm headed to the casino! Oh well...I'm on a limited budget...only take what husband gives me, nothing more.
    This new friend has a son on my husband's highschool bowling team. She is a firecracker, such a hoot!!! And, she is a survivor, knows a ton about not enabling, and ALSO recommended the "Contract idea" a couple of weeks ago to me.

    Deep breathes...I'll survive come what may.
    I can't tell you all how much each of you means to me. I have read and reread your thoughts, suggestions, and ideas to me...Thank you for all the support.

    Love you guys,
  17. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Have a fun evening, and a calm peaceful weekend!
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was also going to recommend the contract. Star told me to put my thoughts onto paper a long time ago when I let Cory move back home and I was dumb enough not to do it. I regretted it almost immediately. I have also regretted allowing Buck to come into my home without a written set of rules of conduct. I have no idea why my mind doesnt seem to remember these things. I must be missing some part of my brain.
  19. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    So much for the Contract/Agreement idea....Just asked husband a simple question, "What bathroom should young difficult child use when he gets home?" husband's response, "I have NO DESIRE to police difficult child".
    He went on to say that the only "Contract" that has any teeth is the one between young difficult child and the state.
    He asked me what I was going to do if difficult child broke any of our Contract. I said, "I don't know".

    Anyway, just laying in bed with husband and told him, "Fine, you aren't going to help "Police difficult child" then you don't get to yell at him or emotionally beat him up either...don't say a word to him."

    Not happy with husband.

    On a side note...I had a great time at dinner and Casino last night. Didn't get in til 6am this morning. Am totally run down beat as we had two house "showings" today so had to leave instead of sleep. Gonna try and go back to sleep now. Am stewing about husband's response.

    As usual **** roles down hill...and we all know who's at the bottom.
  20. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Tammy. Do you know what rules difficult child has to follow other than checking in, meetings and staying substance free? Does he have a curfew? Will you be able to let him own it by turning off your house/cell phones if he isn't home? I guess, maybe, you'll have to make a contract with yourself. No waivering. Figure out what you can and will do and then stick to it. I have no doubt it will be difficult for you and I'm sorry about that.

    How many months does he have at home supervision? Fingers crossed that it is not too long because I remember the anxiety that came from living with a monitor. Yikes.

    I'm glad you had an all nighter with your friend. The casino atmosphere always seems to relax you and bring smiles to your face. Hope you get a nap this afternoon. by the way, the activity on your house is encouraging. Hugs DDD