Devasted by difficult child's action and answer

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by FlowerGarden, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    difficult child has been off medications (claims medications make him feel weird) and doing well for approx 18 months. He has a part time delivery job and his employers are very pleased with him. Lately, he has been up at night more, sleeping later, and spending or wanting to spend money like crazy. Doing things like buying 10 packs of gum at once because he just has to have them, wanting to purchase tickets to a game at $200 a piece. Then he asked his oldest brother if he could go visit him for a weekend so he could get away from our town for a couple of days. difficult child told me some people were irritating him and before he went into a rage, he wanted to get away for a bit. I started to suspect his bipolar was acting up again.
    difficult child had also been borrowing money from us for gas telling us they were slow at work and he wasn’t making enough tips. Then I found money missing. I approached difficult child and asked him what was going on with him. He kept saying he wasn’t ready to talk and would soon. I was mad and we got into an argument. On his way out the door to work, he yelled to me, “I’m addicted to drugs. Sorry I am hurting you by being so. I will be out of the house by Tuesday”.
    The next day he apologized to me and told me that he is not ready for rehab. He said if he is forced to go, it would not work, he has to be ready to give it his all. difficult child has always said that for some reason he can handle someone else telling him to do something but cannot handle for me or husband to tell him what to do. Now he is telling me he would like a 2 week extension on leaving because he wants to try to give the drugs up on his own.
    I agreed, only because one of his regular deliveries at work was just murdered in an alcohol fueled argument. It has really gotten to difficult child. He is actually going to the funeral home for visitation, too.
    Any suggestions on how to stay strong for the 2 week extension and any advice if I have to send him out on his own?
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    No advice, but *hugs*.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    ((HUGS)) The only suggestion I have is to look at it like 1) he was honest with you and what he's saying about needing to be ready for rehab and it being his decision is 100% correct and 2) it is much preferable for an addicted person to admit it to themselves than to be in denial. He can get help this way. He can't get help if he was in denial. He is doing what is recommended when a person thinks they might have a problem- try to quit on your own first. Stand back and let him try, if he can then great for all involved. If he can't and no one has interfered it is much more likely that he will do something about it. He is right though- he has to know for himself in order for anything to work and he can't take responsibility for his life and problems if someone else is trying to control them. I am not saying any of this to be critical- I don't know you on the board so I hope this isn't coming across as critical- it is honestly meant to make you feel better- there is a saying in 12-step programs- admitting you have a problem leads to hope for a better life and a road to recovery. Denial that you have a problem keeps you digging yourself in further. Try to look at this "stage" of it as him having to be sure himself, then leave it up to him to ask for help if he can't. You can, however, gather some information on 12-step programs and rehab and provide it to him so he can make an informed decision. Maybe even tell him you agree with this approach and will back off trying to take over it but suggest he go to a 12-step meeting or two to "feel better about this difficult situation" or something.

    PS I recently got a letter from my 16yo who's in Department of Juvenile Justice right now. It said he was still using drugs- medications he's getting from from other kids illegally. Then he asked if I thought he could be an addict. It made me feel better that he asked that than it would if he was saying he was convinced he didn't have a problem. My response to you is based on that.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I'm sending you huge hugs because this is such a slippery slope you are entering. To me after living with a drug addict for so many years and having heard it all? I don't know that there is any give left in me without conditions. I'll explain best I can. Most of me wants to come out and say to you "Uh huh and what great excuse will he have in two weeks?" He's still not ready, someone else at work couldn't deal with the death and called in sick so he has to cover, he's decided he can lick this addiction thing all by himself? On and on there could be excuses and this leaves you and your husband with a man in your home that admittedly has stolen from you, is on the edge and is really making conditions as to how life is going to be for HIM wherever he goes - with his brother, in YOUR home - and that's not fair.

    Think about it for a minute. When he went to his brothers home - they had to cut a visit short somehwere because he was going to "loose it". Okay so they leave so no one gets in trouble. On one hand you look at the situation like "Boy that was a good thing he chose to leave." Yet on a totally different side of it you have to see he's just barely holding it together. Most people don't almost loose it. So was it really a good thing? How long will it be before he can't not loose it? Then before he leaves I think you said you wanted to talk to him about missing money and he blew up on you and said "OKAY I'm doing drugs." as if this statement to you says "Don't say another word about me in YOUR house taking money, doing drugs, just drop it." Then says half heartedly if you ask me because I've been there for the hollow apologies "I"m sorry this hurt you." WTH is that supposed to mean - we didn't even cover the missing money buster...not that the MONEY is first thing on MY mind - we have a WHOLE BAG of junk to cover here - and now you're TELLING ME - WHEN you are going to be OUT OF MY HOUSE? How kind. Tuesday is it? HOLY COW - I think I would have grabbed a suitcase, handed it to him and said - "I want my money repaid NOW, NO it is NOT okay that you are doing drugs and I will decide when ANYONE leaves MY house...YOU are not making decisions for ANYONE about MY home." - Then he leaves....To that end? You really did play it right by not engaging in any confrontation with him - but later? After the fact? WOW - he so would not have come home to have a two week extension discussion wtih me.

    As far as he needs someone else to tell him to go to rehab, he needs to figure it out himself - he needs this he needs that - now someone has been killed? He's really all over the board here. Difficult to judge like you said what's best, and possibly not a tough love scenario at present. However - I WOULD NOT have allowed him to come home without ruminating about the money he took, solid plans for talking to SOMEONE about his rehab - I mean if it's not me then it better be someone - and soon. I would suggest he get to an NA meeting or an AA meeting. I think klmno was on the right track too because someone THERE isn't you - and while he's there - you go to an ALANON meeting. I too like that he was honest with you, I'm just not really wild about the fact that he blended it with - AND HERE is how it's going to be in your house routine. I think it's a little back door in my humble opinion.

    I would also have a plan B - for 2 weeks from now and I'd let him in on that too - and I'd hide my money and no more gas money - period. He can bike it for all I'd care. But that's me.

    Hope things work out - but I think in 2 weeks - you ARE going to have to be the TOUGH love person - and stick to your guns. His brother too.

  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I didn't read the other responses.

    But only thing I know to say can't help him with this one. It's got to be all him, his desire to stop, his drive to seek out help, his determination to stick with the program/treatment and follow through. Even just attempting to support him....can be walking a tightwire. I suggest al anon for you. You're going to need educated on addicts as well as the support they can give you in person. And you're going to have to stick to your guns when you make up your mind what you will/won't do for him from here on out.
  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    You really should find an alanon parent group in your area and start going. it can be a huge huge help in answering your questions of what you should and shouldn't be doing. Just be prepared that you aren't going to find out how to help him, you will be going to find out how to help yourself, which in the end could help him because it will teach you how to not enable, not get sucked in and live your own happy life :)
  7. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Alanon or Naranon parent group. Find one and go tonight if possible.

    I had trouble following your logic on why it's a good thing that he is asking for a 2 week extension on moving out so he can "get clean" without going to rehab after he

    1. Stole money from you to support a drug habit
    2. Lied to you so he could get money to support a drug habit
    3. Refuses to take his bipolar medications

    Reality check here - are you telling us that you think he can get clean without going to rehab? That he can do this while living in your house with people (you and husband) who are not allowed to be honest with him about his drug habit and his mental illness?

    I hope things work out better than my gut says they are going to. If you're going to do this I suggest you and husband figure out your boundaries and put it in writing to him with consequences. It is not up for discussion or agreement. This is it. Period. And put away all your credit cards, bank records, check books, purse, wallet, tax returns...

    While you're at it, you might just want to double check the credit cards and bank accounts for unauthorized use/withdrawals.

    Hope I am completely off base.


  8. Bean

    Bean Member

    It sounds like you might not have had any parameters set for the current stay (using his medications, employment, [not] stealing, etc.). From my experience, and it is only my own, your son's stealing, use and refusal to take medications would have gotten him a one-way ticket out the door. I have other kids to consider, so that always is in the back of my mind, too. Not sure if that is your case.

    I'd be hesitant to allow the 2-week trial period, only because of how my daughter is. Two weeks down the line, I'd be even more on edge, miserable, and she'd be more confident, cocky and irritating. And then we'd have to go through getting her out of the house all over again.

    Alanon is a great suggestion. Wish you well, and hope things turn out OK for you.
  9. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I appreciate everyone's input and advice. difficult child has come a long way from his old self. Years ago, we had the police here once or twice a week with him being out of control. He has been on so many medications and combinations of medications. He gets very visible side effects. He can't handle the weird feelings from them (tremors, slurred speech, drunken appearance, etc). Through therapy he learned how to handle his rages.

    Living in a small town, difficult child had been labeled a trouble maker and many still treat him like that. The police follow him all over town, pull him over and make him get out of his car, or just want to get a look into his car to see who he is with. Peers still shun him because of his past. Before this new problem started, he did ask us if we could move sooner than we are supposed to so he could get a new start and away from the label. One of his disorders is severe anxiety, especially when it comes to new places, so going away to school isn't an option at this point. We won't be moving for at least a year.

    The death of the person is a dramatic event for him. He experienced a lot of deaths in a short span when he was little. We had 6 relatives, a friend, and 7 neighbors die in a 15 month span. A death takes its toll on him.

    Since he did admit to taking the money (could have blamed it on his other brother), did tell me he had a problem with drugs, has been able to contain his rages, is working part time, is praised by his boss (if I order something his boss usually tells me he likes how he works, and because he is dealing with the death, husband and I are going to give him the chance and give him the 2 weeks.

    Could it be a con on his part? Absolutely. I will look into finding meetings in my area to help me stay strong. I will be rereading everyone's responses many times to keep me focused.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    FG....I will actually chime in and be in your corner. I probably get played horribly by my son too but I tend to attempt to be his safety net again, probably not the brightest thing to do. LOL.

    My son was really bad a few years ago which led to some serious consequences on my part and on the part of the legal system. The neighbors also still cant stop wagging their tongues about them and his father has now told them they can get his name out of their mouths. They havent heard of him doing anything wrong in so long now that a whole new generation of thieves have arrived. Time to forget about Cory! See...Cory stole from me and supposedly stole some tin off a condemned house but he actually didnt steal the tin...we know who did that. The guys who did that had a car and Cory didnt. Sigh. Cory had to take the plea though because it was bundled with my charges. they wouldnt unbundle it.

    I have no idea why I am telling you Oh...I tend to give him chances if he comes to me and tells me the truth. Since he got caught stealing from me and I pressed charges against him, he has not stolen one single thing from me. I can leave money on my dresser and he wont touch it. I actually tested him on this. I used to have to keep everything locked up in a safe but not now. It makes me feel so wonderful that I know that he wont steal from me. I actually have to worry more when I go to my middle son's house because he has people there that steal. Now Cory will ask me for money...not saying he wont do that! He is not a easy child by far. I could kill him probably 7 times a day and I wish I had never allowed him to move back home. That was a mistake. But...I still want to do my best to help him. Its a high wire act for me. Right now I am trying to find an apartment for he and his girlfriend to move into soon. Im sure the folks here will think I am an idiot but I am going to pay deposit and first months rent to get them started but thats me and I can do it right now and I need him out. Im also not going to let him get into a place he cant afford so it wont be a huge amount of money. I also wont cosign.

    All this to say...a parent has to do what a parent feels they need to do at the time. You will know if circumstances change and you need to do things different.
  11. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Dammit Janet, thanks for sharing. I would probably help difficult child with getting an apartment, too. difficult child's doctors, therapists, and case managers would tell us, "he will do well and then slide a bit and then will do well again". They told us not to expect a 100% perfect person. They told us we should watch to see if he uses the skills he was taught. If he is, they felt go with our gut instinct. If he isn't using any of the skills he learned, send him packing immediately. My gut says he is trying to use his skills. He slid backwards and is (hopefully) using his skills to get back on track. It's up to him to pull it off but husband and I will certainly be cheering him on.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Just looked over the answers quickly...but saw the mention of Al Anon and couldn't agree more. Going to Al Anon or Families Anonymous is likely to be of tremendous help for you.
    It is good that you set up limits/boundaries in your home. If he is an adult and using....he shouldn't have the luxury of being in your home.
    A possible POSSIBLE exception might MIGHT be if he is ACTIVELY participating in treatment consistently and he is willing and able to follow by house rules.
    It doesn't really sound like this is the case.
    You might want to help him with his first month rent...but no more. Also, make it clear (if you can comfortably afford it), that you will pay for his medical treatment, therapy, etc. IF and only IF HE IS TAKING SERIOUSLY.
    AND I would make it crystal clear if he steals from you again, you will call the police and then do so immediatley.
    In the mean time...again...I would get yourself to some sort of related group and not worry excessively about the trials and tribulations of your adult difficult child.
    Let your contributions to his sobriety and productivity, ONLY assuming he is open to it, be VERY VERY limited (and again, only participate if he is cooperative and trying).
    It is your time now.