First time posting, son 31, heroin addict, living at home, sober and stable for months, then not

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by PattyK, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. PattyK

    PattyK New Member

    I'm so glad to have found this group. I don't know where to begin. Brief history: Son currently living at home. Began using drugs at age 13 (pot, mushrooms, Xanax, opiates), ADHD but we chose not to medicate. Had drug counseling age 14. Bullied by peers and rejected by authorities due to poor social skills and ODD. Heroin addict by age 18. Checked out of rehab 3x's. Two felonies. Prison. Loses jobs due to ODD and arrests. Currently in Methadone replacement therapy (2nd time in 7 years). Still using other drugs (I think pot, maybe Xanax). No formal mental health diagnoses but is clear he has major anxiety disorder, depression, and is Oppositional Defiant. Will maintain sobriety for months at a time and then falls back into drugs. The good stuff is that the months when he is sober and stable he is delightful to be around, helpful, a great companion, loving and oh so talented in so many areas. Over the years there have been so many lies and manipulations mixed in with hopeful and good months that I just don't know what is real anymore. My husband (recovering alcoholic) is extremely passive where our sons are concerned and refuses to talk to him or ask him to leave the house. I have asked him to leave twice in the past 12 years (my husband stayed in the bedroom). Son was homeless for a year, living under a bush in a city park, lived in a car for a time, couch surfs, spent a year in prison, lived with us off and on, you get the picture. So right now living with us for past two years since out of prison. Did good for a while then fell into heroin addiction yet again. Got into a Methadone clinic and was mostly stable for a year (intermittent drug use still I believe). Has always worked but many, many different jobs. Six weeks ago lost a job he had for a year and he has been unemployed since. Has burned all his professional bridges (we live in a very small rural town), and can't find work (or won't maybe). So here is my dilemma. Of course, as long as he is moving in the right direction and holding down a job and being a relatively good team member, we are happy to have him at home. Life in a small town is hard. No car, no way to get to work. He, of course, has developed no marketable skills over the years so all his options are low skills jobs. We just spent $2,000 getting a car in good running order so he could get to work - now he has no job. We have been paying for his medications, his gas, his food, insurance, etc for 6 weeks and it seems he has not taken job hunting seriously though he says he is....I'm at my wits end. Hubby won't even talk to me about it all. Seems more irritated with me than with my son when I ask how long we will keep going this way and what does he think we should do....I feel so powerless either to keep helping because of the expense (if that is appropriate) or to ask him to leave because of passive dad (if I assume we are being taken advantage of). My B.S. meter is totally broken and I don't know what's real anymore.....
  2. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Hi Patty,
    I can relate to your situation since mine had been similar for quite a while with my 31-year-old son who's a recovering heroin addict. He's currently in long-term rehab (will be 4 months total) for the first time, so we're hopeful for him. He has lived with us off and on between jobs, when he was on house arrest, etc. I can relate to the ups and downs, as my son is likewise a very kind person when he's in his right mind. Honestly, he's a nice guy even when he's high! But then there's that pesky problem of him losing jobs repeatedly, getting arrested, stealing from family and strangers, and crashing cars (two of them).

    You've found a good place with caring people who've been-there-done-that. More of them will be along to post with some good advice soon.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I kind of look at the evidence. I am a big believer in "actions speak louder than words." You can tell truth from a lie by your son's actions.

    Forget his words. Words are cheap. Our difficult offspring try to twist us around until we are so confused that we give in to them. Ignore the words. Don't engage in nonsense conversations.

    See your son's behavior. That's how he is living his life. Your b.s. meter seems like it's in good working order to me. in my opinion your son is too old to be living with you or expecting your support. Do you want him to be 40 years old and living in your basement? Is that good for you? For him? I personally think they need to get out and sink or swim. We can't live forever.

    I think you and your husband need professional counseling to get a plan of action and to get on the same page. You sound lost and guilty. Many here used professional help. Be kind to yourself and do it. You deserve the help and support of a therapist.

    Welcome to the board.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  4. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I know what it is like when your husband doesn't support you mine didn't for many years. Recently he has been more supportive. My son is 36 and can be a nice guy but also can be very difficult. He is currently in jail. He is not allowed to stay here and very definitely not if he is using. You never know how they will react on drugs he could become dangerous. You say he is not diagnosed so he may be self medicating. I would offer him a choice of rehab or get out.there is an article on detachment on the site and also a book by melody beattie called codependence no more. They may help you. I would also try to attend some support groups like narcotics anonymous to get the support your husband wont give you. Welcome to this forum. Good luck.
  5. PattyK

    PattyK New Member

    Thank you for responding. All three of you had such encouraging comments. It is so very hard to detach when you feel that without loving support there’s no way for them to thrive. But I can see that they need to be working as hard as mom and dad are. And SomewhereOutThere I forget to pay more attention to his actions than words. Thank your for the reminder. He spent his late tee/early 20’s being high instead of learning how to do life. He’s a terrified 13 year old in a 31 year old body. But his defiance to authority is his real downfall. One step forward two steps back. I am trying to find the courage to act. If i make him leave, I am pretty certain he will go back to living under a bush and fall back to heroin. I guess what really hangs me up is wondering if his mental health issues are such that he simply can’t move forward on his own. But all of this is crazy talk because he simply needs to get out on his own. Sink or swim. It feels like every day he stays here is one more day that robs him of the necessity to learn how to do life independently.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have mental health issues...probably similar to your sons and they started early in my life....depression and anxiety. Very severe in high school, 20s and early 30s. I had no family support at all. by the way depression and anxiety are very common and treatable. The thing is your son made the choice to take drugs. I decided that any drugs, even alcohol, would make me worse so I lived a normal life and fought for myself and never got help from family and I am glad. With nobody to nurture me and coddle me for having mental illness, not even my first husband who didn't get it it, I had to be strong and get help on my own. I did! I admitted myself to a hospital and spent ten weeks there to take steps to get well. It took time to learn how to help myself but I slowly did by getting and complying with help and never using drugs. I had kids to take care of. I couldn't be on drugs. And your son is not forced to not grow up and spit in the eye of authority. ODD is a disorder kids get. Your grown son with the tall frame, hairy body and deep voice does not have to spit at authority. He is choosing to do so. And he is abusing you. Do you have other kids? If you do, you certainly know that his biggest enemy is himself. But he isn't very nice to others either, not now anyway. Have you ever gone to Al Anon or therapy for YOU? You matter. Alot!

    I was very immature too. But I did life without much help. Your son is 31. Society doesn't give a rats if you think he is thirteen emotionally. Society WILL treat him as 31. He will never grow up if he doesn't have to. I may not have grown up either if my parents had worried more about me than I cared about myself.

    Your son's main problem to me is drug abuse because you can't diagnose or treat mental illness with an addictive brain. He lived with you before and relapsed. How about rehab or the streets? And he can't quit rehab or he is out on his own? A few here have done that. He should be in his own place anyway, even if he chooses to not work and go to a shelter and get a food card.

    Your son needs to help himself. He can. It's not hard to ask for help and he knows where to go for it. You can't do a thing. He is nearing middle age and has to do the work himself, like I did. Whatever got him in jail, he made more horrible choices. I would have never let a child who went to jail ever live with us again. My kids all knew that jail was a boundary they could not cross. I had one drug user, age 12-19, and I made her leave. She quit!!! She is 34 and clean, a homeowner and a great mom and I cried forever after I made her leave. But she quit cocaine and meth. And she has not relapsed. Now.....

    My parents lack of help was because they didn't care or get it, but it actually helped me more. And my decision to be sober made it easier for me to get treatment. 10 percent of all people have anxiety disorders. Depression is very common too. Both are treatable but not while a person takes any illicit drugs. Or if the person refuses treatment.

    I understand your fear for him, but it is a fact that he will be alone one day. The longer he is childlike dependent on you, the harder it will be for him to grow up.

    I hope this helped a little.

    Love and light ,:)
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
  7. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Yes. So is mine. Well, maybe my guy's emotional age is like 16....

    I take it he won't get a mental health evaluation by a psychiatrist and get on some psychotropic medication?
  8. PattyK

    PattyK New Member

    Wow. I’m just overwhelmed. I have never had anyone to talk to about this who understands what we are going through. Those I went to church and worked with shamed and blamed me for bad parenting and judged my sons and husband to be worthless. I quit church years ago because of it. I worked for a judge who constantly threatened to fire me because of my sons and husband. I have retreated from community because of this type thing that happens in a small town. Hearing from others who have gone through this and want to support and tell your own stories just feels like a life line.

    InADaze you are correct. He says he doesn’t want to be branded as someone with mental health issues for the rest of his life. He gets counseling from the methadone clinic. He gave them permission to talk to me. I wonder if I should consult with him to get his take on things. I know he can’t share anything with me except maybe advice specifically related to my son. I didn’t mention that my son was sexually assaulted several times as a young teen. There were several episodes with a handful of different offenders. I homeschooled because of the trouble he was in constantly from teachers. The oldest offender was from this group. Another was a cousin. And then some consensual episodes with friends when he was young. He didn’t tell me any of this until after he was 18. He refuses to pursue criminal charges. I think he feels that it was his fault for allowing it. He wanted people’s approval because he was so teased and bullied. He claims to have addressed these issues in counseling with methadone clinic counselors and having come to terms. Part of his trouble in finding work is that he can’t pass a drug test because of the methadone. He believes he will go straight back to heroin without it though. And he doesn’t want to go back to prison for possession of heroin.

    SomewhereOutThere it is so good to hear from a person who made it on their own without help. I can’t even begin to tell you how encouraging that is to me. And hearing you say how you sent a daughter away and then cried for weeks reminds me that even though this causes pain, a parent can do it. Maybe I’m more afraid of my own pain and fear of loss than I have admitted. I suppose I can give him a list of resources and send him on his way. Is it reasonable to give him a time frame in which to be out?

    I have been seeing a counselor for over a year to deal with the emotional trauma i have suffered in trying to survive when my husband and both sons were actively addicted to drugs and alcohol and all the circumstances and fear that brings on. But she does not understand addiction or how to deal with it. It might be time to transition to a counselor or group that can support me in this journey with this son.

    I know I’ve said a lot and I appreciate your patience. But I’ve had all this bottled up for more than a decade and haven’t had a safe outlet to talk. Thank you so much for bearing with me.
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  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Never to diminish sexual abuse but my daughters both had this too. My oldest turned to drugs first then quit as she decided that she refused to let it define her. She was raped in a friend's house at eight and was ashamed to tell me until 14. My younger daughter was molested badly by a much older foster child. She took her recovery even father, never took drugs even pot, or got into trouble and graduated recently from Criminal Justice. She wants to do good and help others. Her final goal is as a police officer. Right now she is going back for her second interview at our county jail. Today!!!

    Your son had a terrible time but it was his choice to allow the horrible sexual abuse to define him. He had other options.

    Both my girls are doing extremely well. By choice.

    Neither allowed the abuse to ruin their lives. Your son can take the same attitude but did not. Help was out there for him and he wouldn't take it. That's his fault.
    He is an adult, not a cute little boy with ODD. He can control how he treats people, including you.

    His mental illness diagnoses are treatable and not on the spectrum of serious, such as schizophrenia. Working folks have depression and anxiety. I did. And mine was severe. But I pushed on.

    His drug addiction is his X factor plus unwillingnesd to throw himself into serious recovery which he is capable of.

    You have to do what you feel is best and I am in favor of you detaching from all this drama and living a great rest of your life. You can control one person in life....yourself. you have NO control over your son nor can you mommy him to healing. He is on his own. He is too old for mommy stuff. He must bandage his own knees.

    Try to have a peaceful day and love yourself
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  10. PattyK

    PattyK New Member

    Thank you SomewhereOutThere for not giving him or me any excuses. When I read this assessment in black and white it seems to cut through all the gunk that gets in my way and confuses the issue for me. I am very grateful that you have made the real issue clear. This morning I was thinking about all thats been said in this stream. And a picture memory came to mind. We once had a momma cat who was small. One of her male kittens grew into a big boy cat. But he never quit nursing from her. He was two years old and twice her size and nursed multiple times a day. She was small and frail. I got a picture in my mind of this huge tom cat nursing from his tiny mother. We finally gave him to a horse farm as a mouser. I understand he thrived. This is a picture of what I have in my family right now. I will post our progress.. thank you all again
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome Patty.

    People kick heroin all the time. But they do it, not their mothers. This is a function of this site, to let go of our sense of responsibility and agency to act in a sphere which is not ours. It is hard to let go. I know.

    I think he needs a year long residential program like teen challenge (adult) or victory outreach. They are free. Every single kid on this site i can think of who has participated has prospered.

    I would stop with the gas money, etc. We corrupt and infantiilze our adult children this way. I do this. He can get that money.

    As long as he is courteous and cooperative while at home, for a limited time, food and room is quite a lot.

    Heroin addicts can be some of the best people. Kind and sweet and bright. If I used drugs I would use a drug like that. My point here: this is as likely to go on forever as not. That is what an addiction is.

    We have to find a way to live where we are not hooked too. That is why there is this site.

    Finally. It is called the "human condition," because we are flawed, failed, hurting, limited, self deceiving. We are tested. Conflicted. We grow. We are mortal. That our children have diagnoses and suffer, just makes them human. This is their learning to do.

    That is the other purpose of this site: to come to grips with that. We grow too. Keep posting. It helps.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  12. PattyK

    PattyK New Member

    Copobanana, thank you for your comments. You and everyone else posting are telling me what I know to be true. I must find the courage, determination and wisdom to move forward in a way that is in his best interest. And I know that is learning to be on his own and conquering his demons himself. Anything less handicaps him - infantasize as you said.

    I would love to see him go to teen challenge. His highschool girlfriend did and continues to thrive. But he does not want to give up his life for a year (thats how he sees it).

    I feel i need to come up with a plan that lovingly invites him to leave. Give him some time instead of just kicking him out with no warning. He’s not making us miserable right now except he’s unemployed and historically spends every penny he makes (on himself, not his bills) I don’t see that changing. So whats a reasonable plan? I would appreciate some suggestions as to how others have done it.

    I know that my own fears and issues have brought us all to this place as much as his. My husband and I have allowed it. I have to be willing to face my fears and pain and grow.

    What is a reasonable amount of time to give him? Do I collect names and numbers of resources such as NAMI, MHMR, teen challenge, homeless shelters, etc and once the day comes wish him well and send him on his way - or just send him on his way and leave him to discover any agencies that might help?
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Patty and welcome to CD. I am so sorry for your need to be here.
    Your situation is similar to mine in that my hubs was sort of non involved with the decision making concerning my two daughters. He was not in good health, still working and I think it was just too much for him to deal with.
    So, I took charge.
    It was hard because my daughters triangulated, I became the “bad guy”.
    Too bad.
    They are 29 and 38.
    Old enough to know better, do better. They have to want that, didn’t happen in my home, they were too, comfortable with status quo, I sure wasn’t.
    After years of drinking and dabbling with drug use, if there were underlying mental health issues, whatever they may be, they are now exacerbated by full blown meth use now.
    We went through all sorts of stuff and there were always excuses and denial. Drug addicts lie, they are not trustworthy.
    My home became a rescue mission, they would straighten up for a few days, then when they settled in, slide into their routine of crazy and no responsibility.
    It was awful.
    I realized our “helping” them was not really helping them, they were living skid row, in my home.
    I didn’t want to be there!
    They felt we were obligated to house them, while they continued as is. No job, no money, no help around the house, just stagnated.
    So were we, stagnated, stuck in the rut right along with them. We both worked and are not wealthy, so of course economics comes into play and is appropriate to look at.
    Then there is the fact that we raised them to be responsible people, as adults, it just was not happening.
    They stole from us.
    Not just the jewelry, money from our wallets, they stole time. The stress and anxiety took its toll.
    We would go off to work, and they would sleep in. Huh. What a mess.
    Hubs health worsened, and that did not make them change. He passed, and that did not change their course.
    In fact, my younger of the two thought she would move back home. I had to tell her no, go to a rehab, go to a shelter.
    It was hard, in my grief, to stand up for myself. But I knew I had to do it. I was standing up for her as well, because she just did not get any better at home, and brought so much chaos and drama along with her.
    It is a hard place to be for us mothers. We worked diligently when the kids were young to provide a home, three squares, ferried the kids about, provided opportunities.
    When they grow up and fail to launch, we go into a grief process that takes time and work to find our way through.
    My two are out there, wayward, drifting, drugging. I don’t hear from them because they know they can’t live with me. It is hard, but when I feel myself slipping into the sadness of it, I pray. I am sorry your church people were so judgmental. I have faith, but do not attend church. I find God in nature. So, I gave my two back to Him and pray they find their potential. It comforts me, I sure as heck couldn’t help them,the many times we tried proved it.

    We will not be around forever to pick up the pieces for our kids. Whatever their issues are, past incidents from childhood haunting them, drug use, mental health, they have got to learn to stand on their own two feet.
    The other side of the coin to us not getting any younger, to be around to care for them.... do we live the best rest of our lives?
    When I was tangled up with what my two were doing, trying desperately to help them, my health, happiness and sanity was not even a consideration.
    A few crazy episodes shook me up and made me see the light, that my two were addicted and selfish, saw nothing wrong with living as they did, even though it made life miserable for the very people who were trying to help them.
    Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
    You sound like you are right about this corner, where you see that this is true.
    What to do next, is the issue.
    Start simply, with switching focus to strengthening yourself. You have been through the wringer with this, honor that, and take steps to find your “Towanda” Fried Green Tomatoes.
    For a long time our focus is so intent on fixing the addict, we neglect ourselves.
    Then, self care seems selfish.
    We trade our peace and joy, as if a bargaining for the kids to get well. “How can I be happy, when my child is so messed up?”
    You didn’t cause your sons addiction, can’t control it, or fix it.
    What we wish most for our adult kids is to take care of themselves, be self sufficient.
    So, taking care of ourselves should be important as well.
    When we are fit, physically, spiritually, mentally, we can make decisions from a firmer foundation and start to set healthy boundaries.
    I think your plan to seek a counselor who is knowledgeable about addiction is a wonderful start.
    You are here, sharing your story and receiving some excellent advice.
    Keep posting, it helps to write it out and receive feedback for others who have gone through similar journeys. Take what is useful and leave the rest.
    Please know you are not alone.
    Be kind to yourself and take one day at a time. This has been a long road for most of us, change does not come all at once. It is a challenge, but the goal is for stability, maintaining the sanctity of your home, finding ways back to your peace and joy.
    It is entirely possible, even if the kids are stumbling.
    You have worth, you matter, your well being is number one. Welcome again Patty, let us know how you are doing. We do care about our fellow warrior sisters.
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  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Patty. Hi. There is no one size fits all. Our kids are different. So are we.

    For some of us there is a before and after.

    For others a spiral. A process. A dialog. A conversation.

    My own son now 29 as we speak is here in my house until the first. I have found that completely throwing him out does not help him or me. But that does not mean there are no boundaries. And I do throw him out (we own another house, where he stays, apart from us, too) when he will not listen. As time goes by it seems more and more he cannot tolerate being homeless or in halfway houses. Whether this will motivate him is an open question.

    Does that mean he will conform to our expectations? We keep trying. As long as he does too we will keep at it.

    So, that is our version of this.

    My son does not have a dependency to hard drugs. I am unsure how I would respond to that. The danger is so great. I think I would want to protect him but know I could not. That by protecting him I exposed him to greater risk.

    The thing you do not mention in your latest post (as writes new leaf) is this: your best interest. You count in this too. Very much. In fact it is a necessity that you matter. To you. It will help him, too. But you have to matter.

    And be careful to not fall on your sword. You did not cause this. Any loving parent would want to do anything, sacrifice anything, to save their child. The thing is: it does not work.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  15. PattyK

    PattyK New Member

    Leafy, I am crying. Everything everything you have said hits the mark. First of all Im crying for both of us. Im so sorry for the grief you must have gone through and continue to feel for your daughters and in losing your husband in the midst. It seems too much to bear. That is so similar to what i went through when both sons were using heroin and hubs lost in alcohol. Its an incredibly lonely place. No one in my world could understand or walk with me through it. It was just too raw for those in my world. But here you are. Right where I was and am. There’s just something about the way you spoke. everything you said felt so personal and immediate. We gave so much over and over for years. Trying to find what they need “right now” only to have them squander it. Every opportunity squandered and treated as if it just isn’t enough. The being well for a few days then going back to status. The being asleep when we go to work everyday. The offers to help with schooling, help with rehab, helping to find resources, all the searching for them, just to have it all dismissed. And we don’t have a lot of money either. But it is clear he feels we owe him a safe place to live even while he feels he owes us nothing. He is comfortable and I am not. I anguish every day and he just sleeps in. Even when he works his money doesn’t go far enough. He’s always borrowing $20 here and there, even when he pays none of his own bills. After years of helping, he doesn’t get better at home when he has no responsibility. Just like you said. Even when he isn’t in the grips of illegal drug use (like now with Methadone) he still doesn’t take the steps to live independently. He spends his money on what he wants and then comes to us for necessities. When my miserableness shows, im made to feel like im the one who is unstable and selfish.

    You are one wise lady. It is clear you have been refined by fire. You give me courage to believe that I can be brave too. That I can find the courage to stand up to my son, my fears, and my hubs obvious desire to continue having his son at home. He’s even more of an enabler than i am. I'm always the “bad guy”. And yet we are still in the same predicament because all i do is complain but take no action. Thank you for taking the time you did to reply. I will be reading and rereading your post. I have been thinking all day about the best way to proceed. I know things can’t stay this way, even if things “seem” relatively calm. My son rules this house, does what he wants and has us well trained to submit. This is not good for him. I pray constantly. I believe He led me to this sight. I need the kind, understanding and honesty that i have received here. With this group I feel i can actually make progress and do things differently.
  16. PattyK

    PattyK New Member

    Copobanana, I appreciate the permission to work things out according to what works for us. It is so hard when my husband also makes me feel selfish for wanting my son to be independent. It’s like he feels as parents we have an obligation to provide, the way we would if our son were physically disabled or as we would if he had Down’s syndrome. Im just made to feel as if they believe im selfish. I have asked my hubs a thousand times if he thinks its in our sons best interest that we allow him to live off of us. I tell him i think we are doing him harm. My hub says not a word and walks away. And gives him money when my son asks. I handle the money. My hubs is like my son. He just expects money to be in the account when he wants it.

    So I have that mountain to climb too. I do try to take care of myself. But that looks like me staying in my studio (a working artist) and try to forget for just a few hours the dysfunction in my home and the fears I have of the harm we do our son. But there is always a deep sense of grief and sadness. I try so hard to get to the place that I decide to just disconnect and let things drift in order to not rock the boat and then the very next day I feel on the verge of totally loosing it in sheer frustration. That terrible place of trying to make everyone happy and convince myself its all good is taking its toll. To take the kind of stand I need to take will rock my home and alienate my son and my husband.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Patty. I hear a lot of "shoulds" in what you write. You seem harsh to you.

    Are you really clear about what you need? Or is it that you believe there is a right thing to do?

    It is easy for some of us to tell you. That does not mean it is right.

    And your husband deserves voice too.

    My SO and I talk about our situation constantly. I would guess this is our number one topic. LOL. Over 8 years we have made so many mistakes. Alot of what he thought would work ( hard ass) did not work. Because I was lost, I went along. I have guilt, too. Now he is the softer, yielding one. We have come together in our views and responses.

    I would urge you to dialog with your husband, and together to talk with son. Maybe this is something we can support you with. Right now you are as if combusting internally because you are holding all of the talking for 3 people inside you. It seems.

    I know I do not really know anything about what I want, need or think, until I speak and listen.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  18. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Living in a small town definitely makes everything harder. I don't know much about ODD, but I could write a book about anxiety. Is that why he turns back to drugs after months of clean time?
  19. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your kindness Patty. I am coming up on the two year mark and find that I am at times, reliving events leading up to hubs passing. Intertwined with the grief of losing my mate of 36 years, I grieve in a different way for those lost but still living.
    My two daughters have made choices that have damaged them and our ability to have a relationship, for now. I try to channel my dad’s stoicism, “It is what it is” when that doesn’t work, I’ll have a good cry and pray.
    I am so sorry for the challenges you have faced. It seems you and I have travelled similar paths. I have found that keeping busy, has helped. I also have three children who are doing well. That is my saving grace. My youngest, still in high school keeps me on track. I simply have to be of sound mind, for his sake.

    This is my story as well with my two. The interesting thing is the lack of gratitude. The feeling of entitlement, disrespect and disregard for parents.

    It is hard when we want better for them, more than they do. My two would feign illness, really it was them coming down from a high. They would be super moody and short, phone would ring, instant personality change. Ugh.
    That was me, too. That awful feeling going off to work as they snored away. Most days I would come home to a mess. Hubs just retreated into the bedroom.

    I am sorry, I know how tough that is. You are justifiably miserable and so not selfish.

    I have definitely been through the wringer, and so have you. You can get through this. But, it won’t happen all at once because you have your hubs on a different page. This is not wrong of him, everyone has their own way of dealing, their own timeframe. That is why those of us who have posted here for awhile try to be as gentle as we can, understanding that folks coming here to post are at a very delicate place in their lives. We are on similar journeys at different points on the pathway.
    It is hard to take action when your partner does not want to discuss it. That’s how it was for me. Hubs was not a talker. He didn’t want to go to counseling. I didn’t realize how ill he was, until we lost him. Looking back now, I understand more why he felt the way he did. It is not only cultural for his ethnicity to care for family no matter what, he was raised in the turmoil we were living. That made it immensely difficult for him. His whole life as a father was focused on his kids not living the way he did. It was devastating to him to have his beloved firstborn and third born take this route. Add three grands in the mix, that is a nightmare.
    I am not saying his stance was okay. I could not put up with the way we were living. I bore the brunt of it. Like you, I had enough.
    What forced the hand was a dramatic episode with my Tornado, mom of my three grands. It was horrible and left my 14 year old son sobbing. That opened my eyes wide and I uttered the words “nevermore”. Done.
    I am not so strong, it was the outrageous chaos and drama that fueled me, as well as seeing my young son curled up in fetal position on my bed crying his heart out with the frustration of years of the bs that went on.
    I saw myself through his reaction. What was happening inside of me. Then what was happening to him and his sisters.

    You are at the point where you know something has got to give.
    When I was there, I wanted things to be made right. I was fast tracking. I was fed up.
    I have read here, and also encouraged others to slow way down. You have time to think this through and to figure out next steps.

    I pray constantly as well. I am glad you found us and have a safe place to share your story.

    I am sorry. Having to be responsible for finances with your husband and son spending like turning on tap water is crazy making.

    I’m glad you have an outlet with your art. It must be difficult to be productive under the circumstances. I am a creative person as well, but find it hard to express that when stressed. I literally stopped, because tapping into my creativity meant.....feeling. I had to maintain this tough shell to bounce off the craziness.
    I am sorry Patty, this is a tough place to be. I am hoping your hubs will try and meet you at least half way, go to counseling with you, something.

    One small step, sometimes one breath at a time. Try not to write the end of the story. Keep praying and working on yourself. The answers will come. Hang in there girl, you will get through this and we will be with you.
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  20. PattyK

    PattyK New Member

    Copabanana, you are right. Im very hard on myself. I assume if there’s a problem then I'm the cause. Goes back to early childhood issues. Even though I know it in my head, my heart still goes there. Thats partly why its hard for me to make a firm decision-I just second guess myself. That’s my stuff and complicates things. And you are right. My hubs has a right to his voice as well. But Im convinced we have handicapped our son by giving in to everything he asks for. We rescue him constantly. As Leafy said, Im fast tracking and want things made right immediately. There is time to slow down and think this through. But ive been in this place of feeling he won’t grow up until he has to for a couple of years now. But hubs isn’t of the same mind set. He grieved so deeply both times I made our son leave because of active drug use in the house, stealing from us and bringing not good people into our home when we were at work. Our son has improved a lot over the last few years. On Methadone his drug behaviors not so radical, but there is still that refusal to behave responsibly with his money and get serious about his career (or lack thereof), and live like an adult instead of a teenager. And yes to Crayola13, when all the wheels fall off his wagon and he has major anxiety, he does relapse. That’s not an excuse, I know. But he doesn’t.
    Leafy, your compassion and wise counsel are priceless to me. I’m so glad you got to the point of “nevermore”. And I believe, like you, the end of the story hasn’t yet been written. There is hope. Today is not forever. People do find freedom from addiction. We parents have such high hopes for them and see their great potential. And it is devastating to lose them to the world of drugs or other conduct disorders. For my part I just want to do what is right for my son. Whatever that is. Even if that meant never seeing him again. Because I want him to thrive. It is believing and trusting my decisions that is so hard. I am so incredibly thankful to have found this group. I will try to find a calm place from which to think this through and hopefully find the right voice that will encourage my hubs to open up to me and share his thoughts. Thank you all again so much for taking the time to talk with me and share your thoughts.
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