Back after many, many years..


Well-Known Member
I'm back after several years.

difficult child is almost nineteen, in trouble with the law for drinking and stealing. POT trouble is next. I'm brokenhearted after barely getting him graduated in June. He's costing us a fortune. Divorced his father after 41 years and I'm now remarried. difficult child lives with his father 8 miles away and since he's 18, we can hardly do a thing to help him. I'm SO sad....again.


Well-Known Member
Do you want to share more?

It is unlikely he is only smoking pot if he is in serious trouble. We all start out and, often for long periods of time, believe it is just pot. We WANT to believe that.But if we are on this site, it is unlikely only pot, not that pot is a good thing, but it doesn't cause aggression, stealing, violence, and other of the more dangerous behaviors that more advanced drugs cause.Most kids don't steal for alcohol either as it is legal and many older kids will share, unfortunately.

I don't remember you (so sorry...senior moments!). Can you tell us briefly his story?

You CAN'T help him if he doesn't want help. Most of us on this forum are in various stages of detachment and trying to give ourselves a good life in spite of our troubled adult children because we are learning or have already learned the hard way that we can not change them, even if we go broke trying to. It has to be their will to change, not ours.

Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.


Roll With It

I am sorry that legal trouble is his current situation. As MWM says, it is unlikely to be only pot and alcohol. I hope and pray that you can learn to deal with your codependence and detach so that your life is not always dependent on his choices. You have worked very hard to raise him with love, good values, good morals, and a good head on his shoulders. You have done what you can, and now? It is time for him to start having to handle the consequences of his choices with no one to shield him. The more you shield him from these consequences, the longer it will take for him to learn that he has to follow the rules of life.

PLEASE get yourself to some 12 step meetings. AlAnon or NarcAnon family meetings would be immensely helpful to you AND to him. If you get help, his chances of recovery are 30% better. I know you did everything possible to get him to graduate. If you spending an hour a day on homework was needed, you did it, didn't you? Think of Alanon as that homework, or the drive to the good school, or the teacher meetings. If it raised his grade from a 60% - a D - to a 90% - an A - you would have done it. By going to these meetings and really working the steps, you can help him with LIFE, which is a lot better than high school grades. don't do one meeting a week. Go to as many meetings in different places & at different times as possible. In the first month the goal should be 30 in 30 - 30 meetings in 30 days. Each meeting time in each location has a different feel and dynamic, and by going to as many different ones as possible, you will find the ones that are the best fit for you. Then continue to go to those meetings that fit you fairly well, and work those steps, and over time you will find that your life will improve. You will also find that you place the responsibility for his actions on hsi shoulders and you BOTH will have much better, healthier lives. YOu may not like his choices, but you will understand at least a bit why you have to let him make them and then you must let him be the one to deal with the consequences - good or bad.

All you can do is love him, and let him cope with his own problems so that he will grow and learn to overcome his problems. Only support those choices that take him to treatment and positive choices. Learn what enabling is and how to not do it, hard as that is. And it IS hard, but it is also crucial.

I am sorry he is causing you such pain, and I hope and pray that in time things will turn around.



one day at a time
We cannot help someone who will not help themselves.

I know that is a simplistic statement, and we all have likely tossed it around all of our lives, about many situations, but don't breeze by it this time.

It's like plugging the holes in the dike---the dike that is springing holes as fast as we can plug them---with our 10 fingers, and then sitting and watching helplessly as another hole springs, and another, and another, and the water is seeping through in so many places.

We are held hostage by this because of our love. Slowly, slowly, we start to break away. It is so terribly hard to do.

The urge to survive is so strong in each of us. That is what ultimately will save you and me. We want to survive.

We start to see that attaching ourselves to our difficult children so tightly is literally destroying us. Literally destroying us. I repeat it because it is not drama to say that. It is the truth.

We want to live. And we deserve to live. We can't die for someone else. And we can't prevent them from dying, either figuratively or literally.

Our only true choice that makes any sense is to stop.

We have to learn how to stop and susiestar creates a good list of tools. Get a toolbox. Assemble your tools. These may be brand new tools or they may be tools you used a few times and then stored away.

Every single day, get out the toolbox and use two or three of the tools. Spend at least 30 minutes using your tools.

Little by little, you will start to feel better. You will start to change. It will feel so good that you will want more and more of it. In a crisis, and there will be more crises with difficult children, you will know to leave the toolbox wide open on the kitchen table. You will quit washing clothes and you will spend even more time using tools from the toolbox.

You will get back on level ground again, and you can go back to your usual patterns.

That is how it is for me in recovery. My own recovery, from enabling. It is worth the work.


Well-Known Member
Thanks, everyone. My ex is the enabler. Now that I'm remarried, I'm doing better letting him go. He is who he is and I can't seem to change him. I would leave him in jail overnight, but ex runs to his rescue to the tune of $617 THIS time. It's been $300 + before and that doesn't even mention about $100 + every probation meeting. Oh yea, then there's the attorney who doesn't seem to do a thing (sometimes doesn't even show up). And then there's the drug/alcohol rehab stuff that costs $3,000. Ex had insurance for most of it. difficult child continues the drug and alcohol.

My heart breaks every night because I wonder where he is and what he's doing. Wish I could shake it...I'm sure I would sleep better. My son has no consequences at home, he just keeps doing what he does. He did start a job this week and is working 10 hour days, maybe that will curtail some of the nightly behavior. He has a history of staying up all night and then sleeping all day. BARELY got him through high school for this reason, among others.

We, like most of you, started treatment when he was 4 years old..with years and years of medications (he won't take them now), and therapy upon therapy, and IEP after IEP, and school meetings after school meetings. Feels like not one bit of it helped.


Well-Known Member
I'm so sorry. My difficult child started in therapy at the age of seven and began using pot/alcohol at age 14. From very early on she never followed rules and it just escalated. Do I know you from years ago? Did you have the same user name? Sadly I found there was nothing I could do until she herself hated the way she was living.


Well-Known Member
You probably remember me...I was here for almost ten years and finally felt like I was sucking everyone's energy and I had nothing to offer....always the same user name.

He continues to break my heart and I SO wish I could let it be. I'm MUCH better than I was, though. I feel like a failure that all we did didn't seem to help and of course, his father is angry at me and it's the quickest way to hurt me .. blame me for the most recent actions of his. I was always the disciplinarian and gave him consequences, now he has none. He lives with his father because he tended to be physical with me and the therapists (3) said he needed to live with his father.
This stuff with the law amazes me. It horrifies me that he's been handcuffed. It horrifies me that he does pot. It horrifies me that he isn't remorseful. Just an hour ago he came to my house wanting me to buy him $500 speakers for his truck. I had told him I'd buy speakers for it if he would just graduate. He did, then wrecked his truck that he'd had for two weeks. I backed off and said if you don't have more respect for your new truck why would I put more money into it. I'm insisting he save his money (he's had a job for one week) and get body repair done, then I WILL buy the speakers. He just needs to show a little responsibility. We adopted him at birth and his bio father is in the federal penitentiary. I can't help but remember the quote, "nature vs nurture". Nature is winning out.


Well-Known Member
I also believe nature trumps nurture almost always. We adopted our difficult child also and so many of her behaviors are exactly the same as those her birthmother did. Sometimes we just have to back off and let them make their mistakes and suffer the consequences. At one point I was resigned to the fact that my difficult child may die or end up in jail for a very long time. Nothing I did got her to stop her destructive behaviors. Only when she lost job after job, was living in a run down dump and realized her life was going nowhere did she decide to change. She was also on many medications growing up. She is off all medications now and managing her life, altjough she will always struggle, she is learning responsibility.

It's my belief that with all the talk of legalizing pot our difficult children think it's ok.


Well-Known Member
I just wish we could have made a difference. difficult child looks at me like "what? I didn't do anything..." Are you kidding me? And it's worse than ever because I can't give him consequences because I can't follow thru with them since he doesn't live with me.
Every night I'm afraid of what he's out doing.