Detaching & Setting Boundaries


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I wanted to share this with some of you. It helped me and it may help you.

My son is in a treatment center. He was in the last few weeks of a college class when he relapsed. He did email his instructor and they will not let him finish his class even though he is hospitalized. They said he needed to do a medical withdrawal.

I had emailed the college last week when this all went down asking about what "we" need to do. I just received a response today so forwarded that email on to his therapist for my son to take care of. So I wasn't going to do it but did assist.....

I received this reply from his therapist:

His case manager already took care of this. Letting Jacob handle his own responsibilities is part of you and your husband detaching and setting boundaries. Trust the process. Jacob is an adult and can clean up his own mess without any assistance from you guys.

I really feel I'm very detached but I guess not as much as I thought. This statement from her really put my thinking into perspective. My son is 21.


Well-Known Member
I know how you feel RN! When my son dropped out of college in October, I called because it didn't look like he was going to officially withdraw and I didn't want his GPA to suffer. They basically told me in the same 'kinda nice' way to butt out, that he had to come up there in person with ID, etc etc etc. That's when I realized on a deeper level what detachment really is. I don't get to fix anything, or feel good about fixing it in the process. BUT we also don't have to feel the anxiety that we feel that leads us to try to fix. That's the hard part I think, is resisting the urge to fix it and dealing with the anxiety that that causes.


Active Member
Last sentence sounded alittle snotty, but true. The thing is they dont cleanup after their messes sometimes. It piles up, then theyre overwhelmed and hit the drugs again. Ugh


Active Member
The 2nd time my son dropped out of college, it was early enough that he could have gotten most of his money back. Since he paid for it, I gave him advice on how to formally withdraw but I didn't help him do it. He lost all the money. I felt bad for a while (especially because he has nothing). But, I remind myself that I did help... I told him what the deadline was, I told him what he needed to do. And, that money probably would have gone to drugs anyway.

I also think your therapist sounded a little harsh but I guess it depends on your relationship with them.

I hope it gets worked out.


Well-Known Member
I was told the same with my NOT difficult daughter when she entered college at 18. She legally must do everything and she doesnt like to make her own phones calls even now. But she has no choice. Nothing happens unless she does it. Trust me, she doesnt like it.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Yes it kind of sounded harsh BUT I think I maybe needed that too.

This is after a few calls with them etc. so it's not like we didn't have some relationship established. They are really trying to HELP us. That is how I see it.

She had sent me an email before to go on vacation, get your nails done etc. Little does she know that I already do all that LOL!

I did not think by me sending him the LINK that was enabling but I guess it was. It just showed us that our boundaries are NOT firm enough. It helped me.

I am glad our meeting there is Monday so I don't have to stress over it all next week. I am constantly thinking about what to say, how the meeting will go, how he will react etc.

Exhausting is what it is.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Thank you. I think about it so much I'm surprised there isn't smoke coming out of my ears!
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Active Member
The first time my son dropped out of univ I helped him get doctors notes, etc so his failing marks would be removed. The second time, I again helped him. The last time ....he lost all the money and has Fs on his transcript and is officially kicked out due to two terms on academic probabtion. At this point he can't go back until time has passed. I think it's one or two years, but the failing marks are now permanent.

I feel badly for him, but I wasn't going to do it for him again. I guess because I too had a bad term my first year at university, I was 17 years old and ended up on academic pribabtion my first year of engineering, and I've paid the price even thirty years later! When I applied for my masters degree, I had a 4.0 in my education degree (second degree on top of an engineering one) I had to explain what my 17 year old self was doing way back in 1987!

So knowing how my one year of bad choices has followed me all the way to my 40s I felt strongly about this. At this point I don't know if he will ever go back so does it even matter????

Hard to let them fall on their face but I think the school is right. They have to do it.