At his lowest ebb.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by blackgnat, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Got a call from Difficult Child, he was so miserable, hopeless, feeling like he is going to die soon. Doesn't have the courage to take his own life, but thinks he's just going to drink and drug till it ends his life. He says he doesn't hold out any hope for change for himself and that his track record proves it.

    He got involved with some people who were letting him stay at a motel with him and the mom of one of them said if my Difficult Child paid $80 a week, he could live there too. But then last night he was talking to one of the guys and this guy was telling him he was part of the Russian mafia and that he'd held knives to babies' throats and that he was a killer. My son then got the hell out of there.

    Exgfs mom picked him up and took him to the mental health place that he normally hangs out at. That's where he was calling from. I think he was altered, but his whole call was so depressing-he was crying and saying he was so far in the grip of his addictions that he doesn't see any way out. I told him to go to hospital and he said, "yeah, but what's the point? I'll be there and when they let me out I'll just be right back to this".

    I had no advice for him. I said, "I can understand how you feel this way, but if you keep going back to it, it's always going to have the same result. You need some clarity." He said that he couldn't see this situation an ymore clearly-he wasn't going to make it and there was no future for him.

    I just want to cry my eyes out. Because I agree with him and I can't do anything to help.
  2. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    So sorry for what you and your son are going through. I think you handled the situation the right way. I would tell him that going to the hospital and then following through with help should be his goal. Hugs to you
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    BG. Sending lots of cyber hugs.
    In a few years, that could me my kid. I don't know where it will go or how it will end. Or if it will end.
    And that is the biggest question of them all. IF...

    We can't write the ending of the story. That is up to them. And some of these "kids" literally face death's door before they change direction. It may not be over yet. But its SO hard to be the parent.
  4. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    BG, how heartbreaking for you. I'm so sorry. And you *can't* do anything to help, especially when he has already decided that his demons are too hard to stare down.

    I so hope this is the time he really is that sick and tired of it all. I hope this is the time he honestly acknowledges what he is up against. I hope this is the time HE feels the fear you've been facing for so long. I hope this is the time he truly sees that the outcome of his story rests solely on him. I so hope this is a turning point for him BG.

    I think you handled it perfectly. This is ONE chapter, BG. The rest of the story is yet to come.
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh BG, I am so, so sorry.

    I'm glad he left the people he was staying with.

    I think you handled it extremely well. You told him the truth in love and that is all you can do.

    None of us know what the true "bottom" is for someone. I have heard stories of people who were so far gone you would never think they could get it together but somehow they do. This is my hope for your son.

    Know that we are right there with you holding you up. Draw on the strength of those here.

    Sending you my strength and big ((HUGS))
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh BG I am so, so sorry. What more can you do? I don't know if it's really any comfort to you, but we all care and I am praying for you and your son to come through this.
  7. RN0441

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

    So sorry to hear this but maybe he will see the light now knowing that he is at the bottom. He has to save himself. Prayers and hugs to your son and you.
  8. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    Dear Blackgnat, This touches me so deeply. I had this exact conversation with my difficult daughter. It is painful to hear those words. Like you, I had been standing strong with the toughest of love , for a very long time. She was in bad hotel situations also. I had to leave her sitting on the side of the road in her car that had run out of gas and she was penniless, having been living in that little car, literally for weeks. She was defiant like your son. I drove away feeling it was truly the end of the line. After a few days she called from a borrowed phone, she said she couldn't do it anymore and was going to be dead soon. She told me there was no end in this for her and she was just going to let death come. She had threatened suicide before. She would do it out of desperation to get what she wanted, in my opinion. I had learned by reading here for years to not give into that. Many times I endured her threats and walked away. I don't know what changed in me, but something just told me the time was right to go to her when she expressed that feeling of no hope, that she was just going to die in it. I wish I could remember all the details of that night or the days that followed, but because of all of the stress, worry and trauma, I guess it's blocked out? Don't really know. But what I can tell you is this: I bought her food, got her a room, in return, she promised to take a shower, eat, and go to bed. No drugs or alcohol. Miracle is, she kept her word. I brought food the next day and paid another night. From there some how, it worked out that she has been sober ever since. I think it will be two years in July or Aug, maybe. It has taken a long time for her to recover from that life. She is still maturing and regaining her health, even now. She is trying to parent and has been working.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  9. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    I dont know if this will encourage you are not. Stories like this didn't encourage me much, because she was so far in the pit, I didn't think it could happen. I had custody of two of her children, the other grandparents and their dad had the other two. It was really bad. But change can did come. I pray with all my heart change comes for you and your son's situation. And fast. They have to make the steps toward the effort. We know, we can not will them to do it. We can not make them ready. I too think you are doing a wonderful job. I cry with you tonight because like I said, your pain is very real to me. Again, you are strong and wise. I am sorry for the pain.
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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  10. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    Sorry my posts are split up. I am using my phone and I am not great at it, obviously. And I accidentally sent before proof reading.
  11. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    BG, just thinking of you and hoping you are better today.

    I heard a long piece on NPR last night about a new book called The Teenage Brain. It talked about the fact that young people's brains aren't mature until in their late 20s and sometimes early 30s. Their impulse control, judgment and risk-taking centers are not ready. For people prone to addiction, it's worse, of course. That's why teens should not be using substances of any kind, including pot, on their developing brains.

    I think it's good for us especially to know and understand this. That means there is hope for our DCs as they continue to get older and mature. It's anecdotal that many young people develop the skills to learn from rehab and AA and other programs, and I'm sure there is data on the subject. I remember so very clearly the desk supervisor at the jail telling me I had a few more years on Difficult Child back when he was 22 or 23, that it would take until he was 26 or 27 for him to get it and straighten up. I asked her if she could "promise" me and we both smiled. But for him, he started getting better as he got older. There is hope.

    I think they call us when they are at their lowest ebb and it's so very hard for us to hear these types of statements that sound so hopeless. We know there is help available for people who really want help.

    I am praying today that he is sick and tired enough and ready to turn and walk in a new direction.

    I am praying for peace and strength for you to keep on.

    Please keep us updated on you and on him. Warm hugs.
  12. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Thanks, all. Well, things just turn on a dime, don't they? It's 9 days since my original post and we've been up and down like a roller coaster.

    A couple of days after that call, I got another one to say that he is pretty much guaranteed to get a one bedroom apartment. He'll have to pay some rent, and fill out paperwork, but should be in there soon. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and start crying. Finally!

    Couple of days go by, he's dropping the ball. Doesn't have some things he needs, even though he has been told to get these things for over a YEAR, in some cases. Ex gfs mom is helping him, but there's not much she can do if he stands her up for whatever reasons.

    I get another call yesterday. He was only missing ONE paper and managed to get hold of it, but when he tried to get his Colorado ID, they wouldn't accept it and he has to go through something called an Exceptions Process, which involves more paper chasing. He called from exgfs mom's phone and was angry and hostile. Told me he'd been denied the ID yet again and then snarled, "Are you going to send me some money? I need to get effed up." I said No and he hung up the phone.

    Called exgfs mom and she said that she is still willing to help him get his paperwork done, but that she still has this conviction that he doesn't WANT any of this help. She said he pretty much told her that himself , before she dropped him off at the hangout of the city drunks. He didn't want to be dropped at the shelter, despite not knowing where he was going to sleep last night. He has been advised, at the Mental Health place, which is instrumental in getting him the apartment, not to "blow it", which suggests to me that they can also see him dragging his heels about all this.

    Exgfs mom thinks that he just wants everything handed to him, without making any efforts...

    So, I had a craptastic sleep, worrying about him, knowing he was drinking and drugging last night, on the streets, completely and mysteriously lacking motivation to get the papers he needs for him to have a ROOF OVER HIS HEAD. I think he is just done with it all, once again.

    Again, I talked to my sister and she said, " He always wants you to know when things are going badly, like he doesn't want anyone else to be happy. it's a form of cruelty, because he knows you're going to worry about him".

    This could well be. He was pretty horrible on the phone, just trying to get money from me. No pleasantries, nothing but demands and rudeness. Things like this are good for me in a way, because it shows me how low down I am on the totem pole, as it were. No money fro Ma to get me wasted? Hmm, not gonna spend any more time with HER...

    So, back at square one...
  13. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    This is THE truth. The act of giving birth somehow makes us responsible for their misery. My son has said as much to me. " I didn't ask to be here. You just had to have another baby. Well, you got me and now you owe me."
  14. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    This is THE truth. The act of giving birth somehow makes us responsible for their misery. My son has said as much to me. " I didn't ask to be here. You just had to have another baby. Well, you got me and now you owe me."
  15. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

  16. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    hi blackgnat.
    ...and a wonderful response from you-you are so much stronger than you think. they ever "not sleep" over us? Our son is/has been in this situation-he told us we just don't know how to relax! So crazy how they only live for today and we worry about them, yet they are much more able to make it than we think. All that "street knowledge".

    Wow, your sister gets it-don't let him take you down with him. Our son tends to use food, shelter, safety issues because he knows what works. Certainly we wouldn't want him t be hungry?? We don't even give food gift cards now (he trades/sells them for pills) but instead contribute to food pantry in his town and suggest HE MAKES EFFORT and goes there for help. He won't. He has a total sense that it's beneath him-but not beneath him to ask/hint/fish/steal $ from us. So hard to understand...

    We have felt this so often-that we need to remind ourselves that we're the only ones "playing nice".
    - that very week our son told us he was going to rent from a guy who said he was Chinese mafia-I found that absurd until I read your post. I think on a better day I would see humor in this... Here's hope that today is a better day for you. There really is freedom in knowing you can't fix it. Stand strong. Prayers.
  17. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry BG. Yes, things do turn on a dime. The steepest, loopiest, fastest, most death-defying roller coasters in the world have nothing on the ones we ride every day.

    It seems to me that he has at least put it out there honestly. No false claims of "I've changed" or "I just need a hand up." He cares, but not enough to get a document so he can have shelter. He cares enough to burden you; in other words, he just wants you to care more (A LOT MORE) than he does. I'm so sorry that you have had to field calls like that.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    They hardly starve unless they refuse to walk to a shelter or food pantry. I volunteered at a homeless shelter. We were filled up often, but not always and our meals were home cooked church lady meals for free, seconds allowed. They had to leave at 6am and we packed a lunch sack.

    Heres the thing. We should have been filled every night with the number of homeless around there, but we werent. Why?

    The homeless talk very little, and some of what they do, say, is likely untrue. But a few did let loose that their friends wont come to us becsuse they can't use drugs here or stay if they are obviously wasted. Most of our residents were young/youngish men drug addicts.

    Many panhandled or stole for drug money. Food was not a drug addicts first priority, although there are plenty of places to eat if you are homeless. The "starving" they claim to be are often so we send money or cards they can use or sell for drugs.
    We were never told a lot, but enough people did leak secrets that those who volunteered at that shelter learned a few secrets.

    They also find Wal-Mart receipts (or from any store) and go to said store. Say somebody bought a vacuum cleaner. They will locate the bought item in the store, pretend they are returning it (they have a receipt) and get the money back. Sneaky, isn't it?
  19. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    I appreciate all the replies, as always -I know we've all been there at some point or at some level. SWOT, I have been told about the receipt thing. Also that they steal stuff and that certain stores-I believe Whole Foods is one of them- will actually reimburse them if they take the product in and ask for $ instead of credit-and that's WITHOUT a receipt!

    So, today, exgfs ma takes him to the DMV with all the documents (she's a saint) and I get a call. Difficult Child informs me that,
    " Yeah, it all went through"
    "Well, you should be thrilled about that".
    "No, because they're going to mail it to me in the next two weeks and I can't last that long. I'm losing it and I'm not on medications and if someone doesn't help me, I'm either going to kill someone or kill myself". This conversation is liberally sprinkled with curses and expletives, of course. by the way, he's not on medications because he chose to stop taking them and his dr knows he abuses them, so won't dispense the kind that he wants.
    "Okay, well get yourself to the ER".
    "No, then I'll lose the apartment"
    " Have you been told exactly when you'll get the apartment?"
    "At least two weeks away".
    "Why can't you go to the ER, get some medications to clear your head and then deal with the apartment stuff later?"
    "They'll find out that I was in hospital and that will disqualify me".
    "Can you talk to the person who is in charge of housing and explain your situation?"
    " I haven't even met that guy yet.. I have to fill out some paperwork to get to meet him"

    Keep inserting all the curse words you know, probably every second word...

    Every suggestion I made was met with negativity and scorn. I get that he's frustrated, but it's ALWAYS when he's on the verge of possible success that he screws it up...I kept saying, "I don't know what to tell you. I don't see how I can help you", etc. My therapist told me to stop giving him "advice". She said he's NOT going to take it, so why waste your breath? And I think she's right. But I kind of fall into the habit of it when he calls.

    I told his father to call him (he is more level headed than I am and Difficult Child only reserves the abuse for ME, lucky me) and he did-apparently quite bewildered as to why I had asked him to call?. Er...because you have been RAVING at me for 15 minutes and I think the top of your head is going to come off? And I want to know if you're THAT upset, or whether you're really saving the drama for your mama...

    Father told him to go to the ER. That's where he was being taken, so as always, time will tell.

    Crappy thing is that I was having a pretty good day-just found a new mall (I just moved to Vegas a month ago and am enjoying getting my bearings) AND I had a gift certificate . After that call, which I wrongly assumed would be "Hey, ma, I got the ID! They're sending it in a couple of weeks!", I just felt like a deflating balloon. Didn't want to shop/window shop. Kept telling myself-"Don't let him steal your bliss", but he did. MUST TRY HARDER next time!

    Thing is, too, that I'm sure that when he gets his ID, he won't use it for good, like a job, but for evil. Having an ID means he can hound me for Western Union money (no) and buy liquor or weed (legal in CO) without having to ask anyone else to pick it up for him, because he has the right stuff to REALLY eff himself up...

    Sorry this is so long. Thanks for reading if you got this far....
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    BG, he manipulates you. Or maybe the right way to say it is he punishes you, for not saving him. He is so abdicating adult responsibility that he is wishing, believing that a good mommy can make it all right. Change his diapers and give him a bottle. And if you don't, he will try to make you feel as bad as he does by sharing every ounce of his despair and more.

    That is why boundaries are so important. You must protect yourself because allowing him to do this is horrible for him, and worse for you. The only way this will change is if he gets sick and tired. Thousands and millions of people quit drinking every hour, every day, every year. There is no reason in the world he cannot do so. He will when he is ready.

    However many times he says he can't, he won't, never ever, means nothing, if one day he decides he will and he can. For one minute, and then one hour and one day and one year.

    M, my significant other was a lifelong alcoholic. In his early 30's he quit for 19 years, relapsed, land 6 years ago, decided one day to stop, and did.

    The thing that needs to happen for your son is he needs to want it for himself. Not just want it, require it, more than one other thing.

    The more he thinks stopping has to do with you or any other person, the harder it is. That is what I think.

    BG, if you need to make distance, it is OK. Really. If the way he lives and how he treats you hurts you too much, it is OK to set a limit. When I set a limit with my son, he stepped up and began to set limits for himself. He wanted a relationship with me. He wanted me in his life. He began to really see that I would not tolerate anything and everything he would throw at me. He curbed what I found offensive, just like that.

    You cannot control whether or not your son drinks. You can control how much you allow him to hurt you. You get to define what is hurtful. Not him. There is nothing in a the world you have to justify to him or to any other person. Just decide.

    I said to my son: If you are going to talk about those things, I do not want to talk. I will hang up the phone. And I did. Every single time. I did not call him. He decided he could curb it.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016