Coping with detachment and no contact with 20 yo son

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by mumfromdownunder, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. mumfromdownunder

    mumfromdownunder New Member

    Hello, this is my first post. I stumbled across this site about 6 months ago and it has been something of a lifeline for me ever since.

    Like many new members, I have no idea where to start my story – please bear with me.

    My roller coaster ride with my eldest son Difficult Child (now 20) began to escalate when he turned 15. That year I separated from my husband, moved out of the family home, my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (passed away within 6months) and my son was caught at school with a zip lock sandwich sized, bag of weed (bought with his birthday money). He “luckily” was not charged (suspended for 2 weeks from school – which thought was great) but little did I know that this was just the start of this living hell.

    I eventually moved in with a great guy (still with him), which was ok while Difficult Child was getting his own way. Until Difficult Child started smoking pot in his room and introduced my then 13yo son to it too – my partner and I would not stand for this (he has two girls slightly younger). It got to the stage where Difficult Child would refuse to go to school, he kicked multiple holes in doors, cut up his carpet in his room. He called me at work one time asking me to transfer $10 into his account – I refused, so he threatened to smash all of the windows in the house. I left work straight away, arriving home to find that the windows were ok but a section of bricks under the patio had been destroyed. Another time I refused to give him money and I came home to find that my bedroom door had been literally kicked down (we also locked it) – Difficult Child had taken several items from my bedroom and left. He came home later that night expecting to come in – I told him to leave, he jumped the back wall and tried to kick down the back door. This was the first of 3 times that I called the police (and placed a 72 hour restraining order on him). Another time was when he jumped the back wall “again”, this time during the day and tried to kick down the back sliding security door. I was home with my partner and my younger son at the time. Difficult Child wanted me to come out and talk to him – when I saw he was hiding a knife in the sleeve of his jumper, I called the police straight away. In a split second he had slashed his forearms and wiped blood all over the back windows (where my youngest son was). He ran off and the police found him at the local park, I was informed that his wounds were superficial and he was just “angry”? Difficult Child was taken to hospital and my ex-husband waited there for several hours for a psychiatric assessment but Difficult Child decided, he did not want to wait any longer, and ran off in to the carpark.

    After this, Difficult Child went to stay with his grandparents (ex-husbands parents) several states away – Difficult Child lasted 5 weeks. His grandfather got him to do some odd jobs and paid him for them (now he was cashed up), took him to some counselling sessions (I had also gone through all this in the past) and basically told me he was “cured” and if he could control him, why couldn’t I? His grandfather also told me the counsellor said he was like this because of the divorce and proceeded to blame me for his behaviour. His Grandfather told me Difficult Child wanted to come home and that I said I would pay for the airfare. I begged Difficult Child to stay there and to try and find a permanent job, as I knew as soon as he returned home especially with cash, he would fall back with the same crowd and revert to drugs again. This did not work – Difficult Child would be returning home, although I refused to have him fulltime in my home and after a lot of heated discussions with my ex, he finally agreed to share the care with me. When Difficult Child did return home - we asked him to sign a set of “Rules of the house” for each house (we all sat down together and agreed on the rules, he had input too). This lasted about 2 weeks and I had to kick him out of the house.

    So for approximately 3 years, he has not lived at home – although, I was supporting him, paying rent, food, phone, bills (everything) for him to live in a shared house. Difficult Child didn’t appreciate any of this, he has since lived in about 5 different houses, he held down a job for 6 months (only because I was picking him up at 4:30am and taking him to his work place and then going to work myself) he ended up getting fired from that job.

    For the last 6months (after another series of events) I decided not to see him and support him financially, only texting him occasionally and in the last week I have blocked him. Please understand that I have left a lot out from the past 6 months (this post is already so long) that led up to my current decision. I am so sad and empty inside, but feel it necessary for me to do this as my health and sanity are now at risk (more so than in the past). I just don’t know where to go from here. As soon as I contact him to say I Love him – he wants something from me (money, food to pay his car rego) and then gets abusive if he doesn’t get if from me (no, he hasn’t changed). He says he is living in his car out the front of someone’s house and he needs me to pay the rego – I have refused to do this, but it is very hard. I just can’t do it any longer. Is this it, will I ever have a reasonably normal relationship with him? He won’t get help and feels he doesn’t have a problem with drugs.

    I was also told by my ex father in-law over the weekend (via text), that it is my fault Difficult Child is like this as I left his son, and if Difficult Child takes his own life it will be my fault too :anxious::ashamed:

    Thank you for listening.
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Welcome and wow! Block your father in law as well ! People live in war zones and come out to be wonderful productive people. You do not own the addiction, you can't cure it and you can't control it. Everything you are doing is absoufly right.

    Your son is my son. That saves me a lot of typing.
    Of your father in law thinks he can do better let him have a go.

    Loving knows no bounds but expectations and respecting boudaries ceremony do. You are loving and not enabling. If you were enabling them this would contribute to his demise. When you don't enable Occupational Therapist (OT) is natural consequences of his own action.

    Keep posting and welcome!
  3. mumfromdownunder

    mumfromdownunder New Member

    Thank you so much Littleboylost - and yes! I have now blocked my father in-law too.

    I somehow (naively - even after so many years) thought this would get easier.
  4. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    We are in the same boat.
  5. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome, momfromdownunder.

    Please don't listen to your former father in law. Since you are divorced from his son, you are the convenient scapegoat for everything that is wrong in the world. He is probably blaming you for bad weather, too.

    You will find that people here understand the turmoil in your life and how gut wrenching it is to make the decision to not allow your own son to live with you any longer. You certainly had more than enough happen for me to decide that if I were in your shoes.

    I am curious as to why your former father in law has had your son come back to live with him. He "fixed" him, so your son should go back there to live and be normal.

    I found out after his death that my former father in law blamed me for my husband's suicide. I know that I did everything I could, said everything I could, and loved him as much as anyone ever did. I know in my heart that I wanted my late husband to live, not die. I was the last person he spoke to. In that conversation, I begged him to get help. I never once said, "we would be better off without you." I always told him how much the kids and I needed him. He was too ill to hear it.

    People of the older generation often felt that no matter how a person behaved, you should allow them to behave that way. We know better now. Everyone has a right to boundaries. You have a right to feel safe in your own home. Violence and drug abuse, particularly when affecting young children, are over stepping those boundaries. Your ex father in law has no idea what you've lived through. Ignore his opinion.
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  6. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    Omg, you are doing the right thing. There are others who can "help" him, you cant because he abuses you. Dont stand for it. Grandpa can take him back if he wants. Dont support your son only to get abused. If that means no contact for years, so be it. It doesnt mean it will be that way forever, but right now, now you have to save yourself. If your son dies, then if grandpa accuses you, you can throw it back at him, why didnt he take him back, why didnt his son your ex take him. Dont be their scapegoat . You are doing the right thing. He doesnt work right with you for some reason, he might work well with some else, so be it. How dare these kids do this crap to us parents. How dare them!
  7. mumfromdownunder

    mumfromdownunder New Member

    Most people feel the same but, but Father in law refuses to have him back - I have literally begged him in the past, but he is not interested. he thinks because he had him for 5 weeks (years ago) and set him on the right path that I should be able to do the same. He thinks I should be the one dealing with everything so my ex husband is not put under any extra stress?? my ex husband left the state over 18 months ago and has come back to visit once (because he was here on business) and managed to fit in seeing Difficult Child for lunch (took him to MacDonald's), it lasted about half an hour.
  8. mumfromdownunder

    mumfromdownunder New Member

    thank you - you are so right.
  9. Teriobe

    Teriobe Active Member

    Well ex father in law needs a talk with his son. Difficult Child dad should stepup.
    Well, he will have to go to a shelter, maybe he needs a taste of that
  10. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    My kid was so fearful of going to the shelter because of exposure to heroine and fentanyl. He stayed on the streets, took street Xanax -which was most likely fentanyl laced- and broke into cars. Arrested.
    Soooo tell me how that makes sense? And if he dose not have a drug peoblem, why would he be Fearful of exposure to drugs?
    Shelters have rules bottom line. Mr. Conduct Disorder doesn't like playing by the rules.
    And of course "This Guy" he was with was stealing not him.....sure.

    He is coming to the realization that he has cooked his goose.

    We have court on Thursday which will just be another wasted day and another extension. He has not got his free legal aide voucher yet.

    I was hoping for another reason to be happy for his 18th birthday. Now I will be glad not to have to be accountable and have to take him to court.

    A shelter is a great idea even if it is not coveiniently located.
  11. mumfromdownunder

    mumfromdownunder New Member

    It is hard to make sense of anything they do.
    My son has had a taste of a shelter - for 1 week around the time of his 18th birthday (he blames me because he didn't have a party??). He managed to find a job as an apprentice plumber and was put up in his bosses home (a great opportunity to put his life on the right track) . This did not last long as he found a worse crowd to hang around with and with the money he was making, he just spent it on dope. Of course it was not "his fault" (it never is), when he was fired from that job either.
    You are right, shelters do have rules (which Difficult Child's do not like living with).
    I am sorry you are going through this - I thought that my sons 18th Birthday would have gone differently too but unfortunately not. I am however, hoping his 21st Birthday will be a turning point and things will change by then - there is always hope hey!!
  12. RN0441

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


    You have been through a lot. So have I. We moved our son out a year ago April and it was the best thing we ever did. We gave him the option of rehab or a shelter and he chose rehab in Illinois where we live and then we moved him to IOP and sober living in South Florida. I knew he could not come home. We've tried that. He has had a few major setbacks but we send him right back to rehab. We will not let him come home. I know he would go right back to the way things were and I will not live like that again. It would not end well if he were in my home.

    Of course we love our son with all our hearts. He is the only son we had together and we both have a son from a previous marriage. It breaks our heart every day that he is not with us. These are his choices though. He wants nothing more than to be close to us but his behaviors push us further and further away from him. It's like he's an only child since our older boys are 8 years his senior.

    I hope someday he will straighten out and take his addiction seriously and we can have a healthy parent/adult child relationship with him like we do with our older sons. I will accept nothing less from him. I will not embrace the addict in him. I cannot fix him. He has to do this for himself. We have given him the tools. We have given him our love.

    I have been seeing a therapist and it has helped me cope and set healthy boundaries. I used to be SUCH A MESS. I do not know how I did my job to be honest when I think back on that person I used to be. So very sad and broken. I'm still sad but I have found lots of coping mechanisms now. Some go to Alanon or other groups but I find coming to this forum helps me not feel alone. I can share what I have learned and I also learn from others.

    When we have children like this we cannot parent them the way we parent our other children. It is almost a complete reversal. When they are addicts whatever we do for them allows them to continue living that lifestyle. It is enabling. It is a tightrope. Fortunately my son never wanted to couch surf or life on the streets so he chose rehab. Although some say it doesn't help if they don't want to be there I feel that it does help. Any time they are in rehab they are sober and they are learning about their addiction. The seed is planted. He is safe.

    Continue to educate yourself on this disease and get help for yourself. Yes, block that father in law. He has no idea what he's talking about.
  13. mumfromdownunder

    mumfromdownunder New Member

    Thank you RNO441, you all give such great advise. It's funny talking to you all , as I have been following your posts for sometime now (I wish, like everyone here, it would be under very different circumstances).

    I am still going through the "No Contact" stage - and think this will go on for sometime now. I really need to try and heal my broken heart, I find it feels like the same as the pain you go through when dealing with the grief of a loved ones passing. I am exhausted but still getting up in the morning and managing to function at work. I have been to a few different therapists over the years, but I must say that this forum (and the advise from the parents at Teen Challenge) have help me get through my worst moments.

    My father in law is still blocked.

    Thank you again for your replies, it is truly a lifeline for me.
  14. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I really need to adjust my auto correct. Occupational Therapist (OT) should have rest being homeless is