Can we hasten the process?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Sam3, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Do you think being definitive in your words adds anything to being definitive in your actions?

    I feel like my son believes his denials and rationalizations. I feel like it would be helpful to clarify that we are withdrawing support because we don't want to enable use. That there is a certain inevitability to the process, but that it is hindered if anyone, including us, isn't clear on what he is dealing with.

    But I don't know. The rehab professionals never actually identified my son as an addict -- and he never really self identified as one. I feel like they gave him the tools to recognize the need for recovery and to stay in recovery should he choose to pursue it. Is your life unmanageable? Do you use despite negative consequences, etc.

    Do you think calling a spade, a spade, not only helps to take us off the list of potential enablers but to help them frame the issue as addiction?

    Or I guess the question might be, do they already know.
  2. RN0441

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


    I can't speak for anyone else here but I know that my son believes his own lies. They lie so much that in truth they actually believe it. I can tell that he does and it's heartbreaking for me.

    I did not want to believe my son was an addict. In the beginning I didn't even really know what an addict was! My mother was an alcoholic and died when I was young but I am not sure I even understood alcoholism until all this happened with our son.

    I do not know what your son is doing but if you are HERE, he probably is messing up his life.

    My son started doing bad things at 15 but never learned from them! That to me was so strange because our two older boys did and moved past it all. It was so foreign to me.

    I finally realized that addiction is what caused my son to keep doing drugs NO MATTER WHAT THE COST, financial and emotional, to him and his family. I know that he is a caring and loving person and that person was not present when he was using.

    And from what I've learned here, we have to make them suffer consequences for their actions, behaviors and poor choices or it will never end.
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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  3. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    That is such a big question these days Sam and a darn good one.
    Harm reduction and CRAFT (community resources and family trading) tend to rule the day. Out therapist says this is not the approach meant for uncopoerative addicts.
    The confrontational approach has been viewed to be unsuccessful. Does that include not using the term addiction. It’s a puzzle.
    My sons losses his SH$t if we use the term addict. But if we tell him he has a substance use disorder he is more open to listening.
    Does he admit this and that he needs help no. Do we know he is an addict? Of course we do.
    I am not certain forcing him to recognize with the term addict would be beneficial at this time.
    I wish it would help. I just doubt he would engage in any conversation.

    My son is delusional and believes what he says it is unreal and makes me shake my head.
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  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    to me we have a right and responsibility to declare our own truth with our children. which has nothing to do necessarily with their truth, any objective criteria or what professionals assert.

    my truth with my son: you need to work. you are responsible to manage your money. i do not want to hear about reptiles. if you use your marijuana around me, i do not want you near me. you are responsible for your emotions and to get help if you need it, to manage them.

    clearly, these are not objectively determined truths. in fact they may be prejudices. but this as a parent is what i feel is in my interests and my son's.

    i do not know if this helps my son, but it gives me a measure of peace. this is ground on which i can firmly stand and defend. mostly.

    sunday i had a meltdown on the basis of a text referencing serpents. i was wrong. i apologized.

    but the thing is. if we speak on the basis of where we stand, we can change. We can renegotiate. Because it is our own voice from our core, which can evolve.
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  5. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I've always felt the need to be on the record with him, maybe this is no different.

    But even schizophrenics and Alzheimer's patients have their periods of lucidity. It seems like what they see in these periods would be stored somewhere as reality.

    For addicts and narcissists too, life seems to shrink to the space between their ears and time reduced to periods between supply.

    It seems like metacognition might be valuable. Like being reminded that addicts

    Lie cheat steal deal
    Cycle through friendships
    Lose the trust of family
    Fail to launch
    Live under a dark cloud/have a victim complex
    Etc etc

    So they can keep in mind that this is an addiction phenomenon, as much as they may be personally invested in it.

    I feel like we might be able to do more than not enable them with chances and support -- like we might have a role in disabling their excuses.
  6. RN0441

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

    Like Kathy said on another post, part of the problem is US searching for a solution.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Yes. I can see this. Me searching solution for him is a huge problem. But what i see us doing is recovering ourselves in this, as we pull back more and more from defining our problem and defining ourselves in terms of them.

    Sam. My sister, i believe is narcissistic. I do not have a relationship with her. She will not allow it. she feels mistreated by me. because after a long life, i called STOP on putting up boundaries based upon my own interpretation of events, related to the vulnerability of my mother.

    there are so many issues here. my mother, a very forceful person, could never protect herself from my sister fully, kind of like the tale of the snake crossing the river on the back of the turtle i think it was.

    why did you do that, said the afflicted turtle, dying from the venomous sting?

    because it's my nature i'm a snake.

    our children are our kids. we love them.

    the only conditions are we not be stung to death as we carry them.

    only time will tell if our kids' issues are intransigent or developmental. but the issue is the same: We cannot for them or us permit them to damage us; i believe the truth is almost always the best way..because clarity illuminates a path.

    our own. (which is more or less what you said. i agree.)
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    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  8. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I guess I can't follow my own advice. I made the same observations before. That we have to stop the searching. It's their dilemma or it's not.

    Maybe being clear that we believe it to be a dilemma, they own it, and that we can't solve it, just adds nothing to nothing.

    If so, how depressing that there's no wisdom left to share to help them get on with getting on.

    Are there any emeritus on the other side of this nightmare with thoughts? Do you think any messaging helped? Even as simple as "I love you and I'm not going to make it any easier for you to keep doing drugs."
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  9. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I read an article few days ago on the success of rehab places on various people. One guy had been in and out, expensive ones to no cost rehab places. He finally succeeded in the run-down corner place in a bad neighborhood. Why? Because the leader of program called him out for what he was "an a**hole". No one had ever called him out like that before. Blunt and to the point.
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  10. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Copa- the comment about no, I do not want to hear about reptiles made me laugh. I know it's not funny but our kids talk about the craziest things sometimes. Mine told me his fists are registered with the FBI.
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  11. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Haha. That was me!

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  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My daughter got her act together so I am on the other side looking back.

    I never did think she would listen to wisdom or threats. We told her the rules, what she had to do to live in our house. I think talking too much to troubled young people makes them fight us and need to not believe us. Or to prove we are wrong. Rebel against us. This is especially true of pot, but while I would send a kid packing for not working or finishing scool, pot use alone would not be a dealbreaker...many van function on pot and it is almost legal. My daughter was a very high functioning meth and cocaine addict (she worked and was in Cosmetology school). But meth and cocaine and ADHD drugs cant kill yourself in my house. Sorry.

    These young people know they are sick, even if they deny it. I think so anyway. No need to rub it in.

    When I caught my daughter having a pill gala in our house after we came home early from a vacation, well, that was her last chance used up. She was supposed to just be watching our dogs, no friends, and at the time she had convinced us she was clean and sober.

    Stupid us.

    She got her walking papers that night. I cried and did not eat or sleep or talk to her much for three weeks to a month. She was sleeping in her very strict brothers basement.

    She quit using cocaine and meth. She hated living under Goneboys bruising smoke a cigarette and you are out. You better walk to work, pay rent, clean and cook for him and his friends/tenants. One false move, enjoy the winter streets of Chicago.

    She decided on her own "drugs are too hard."

    She was almost 20. She is now 34 and that was the last of her drug saga. She had been on drugs since 12. Yes, 12.

    My motto is "actions speak louder than words." She never expected to really have to leave. But it did the trick for her. She did not want to be homeless and Goneboy would have thrown her out for a cuss word.

    I dont believe there are magic words for them. Especially from us. I think it is 100% up to them and our words go in one ear and out the other.

    Jmo and experience.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    sam. you know i was told by a psyciatrist once that in dire emergency gravely psychotic people will rally. their reality testing will prevail over their psychosis. they will save themselves and even others. maybe.

    so that would speak to your point. that reason is stored in there. somewhere.

    i have seen this with my own eyes.

    but still i beleve we speak our truth to our children to maintain the bond. to orient them. just as when they were infants and they needed us to trigger their development in critical periods and to model to them the world, our world.

    it is little different now. it is just as much faith. i think.
  14. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member


    It is kind of like the lack of object permanence babies have. When they think you actually disappear when you play peekaboo.

    But with these guys, the object of life disappears behind the shinier object of drugs.
  15. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Oh now I am side awake that is a very profound statement. Has me thinking.


    I believe there is Wisdom a whole ton of wisdom. They just won’t engage and allow us to share it.

    Basic talk. It is what it is. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

  16. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Their brain on drugs doesnt hear wisdom. It hears....? It hears, "I want drugs, although Im not an addict, and you are getting in my way."

    A babys brain is not on drugs. This dynamic changes everything. Logical adult kids are not that eager for us to preach to them unless they ask for advice. Drugged adult kids will not hear us. If they did, theyd be well. Just like if love cured all, there would be no need for this forum.

    Self love cures, but most troubled people dont have this impprtant component. We love them, but they have to love tjemselves just as much as we love them for results.

    Just late night, after work thoughts.