Help to stay strong...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CAmom, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    In a nutshell, I caught my son stealing money using my ATM card three days ago. He's always been obsessed with money, although he doesn't have a job, but doesn't mind working if something falls into his lap. It's gotten to the point over the past maybe year that most of our discussions and arguments are about money. He lives at home, doesn't have a car, and really has no expenses. I've suspected that drugs were involved for a long time, although a recent drug test just showed marijuana and his prescription medication.

    He's taken money via our ATM card a couple of times in the past, but, after three years, I began to trust him again and have allowed him to use it on occasion. When I saw that he had taken a substantial amount earlier this week, I confronted him, but he denied it. Because this had happened in the past, I told him that, this time, I was going to follow up, and I was on my way to the bank to begin an investigation which would include the video footage of whomever "really" used my card. He admitted it then and told me that he owed someone a lot of money for marijuana and they had been threatening him about paying it back.

    He told me that, over the past year, he's used whatever money came his way to try to pay this debt, and he's feeling desperate, although he's had enough money on several occasions and could have paid the debt but didn't. I can't feel very sorry for him since a similar incident occurred when he was in high school and he obviously didn't learn from that.

    We've had an uneasy truce over the past several days while I've tried to decide the best way to handle this. Today, he took another ATM card out of my purse and withdrew money again. This is the last straw for me, and I told him to pack his things and be gone by tomorrow.

    Of course, I'm agonizing now...he told me that he knows he's screwed up, but he's afraid he's going to end up in the hospital and felt that taking money from us was the least of two evils. I'm thoroughly disgusted with him and the lifestyle he continues to choose, and I really don't want him here. But, I'm sick with fear about how he's going to deal with this issue on his own.

    Am I doing the right thing? Should we help him one more time? How am I going to live with myself if something happens to him??
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Should you help him one more time? No.

    You did help him one more time -by trusting him the other day when he took your ATM card for pot, and not charging him with stealing and having him arrested. He 'should' be in jail. SO therefore? You did help him. At that point it was your choice, but I'm not too sure how many others here would have handled it. Our house probably would have thrown him out there and then. Not probably - WOULD have.

    But you relented, worried about what to do - and he STOLE AGAIN? And you are worried about it? So he throws in the "OH I'll end up in the hospital" card? Well you know what? When he does? Tell him to put you down as a contact and you'll come see him. If he's that bad off right now and you think he's suicidal? Call 911. (danger to self) Have them come and get him NOW. That way he can go by ambulance for suicide attempt, they will put him into a suicide watch, maybe he'll get some counseling, and they can figure out where to place him after he gets out.

    If it's a bluff or an attempt to continue to stay in your house so perhaps he can - take candlesticks to the pawn shop, or maybe get more expensive merchandise stolen by friends - because he owes BIGGER drug dealers and he won't be responsible - they just "followed him home" and Took what they wanted - or came in the middle of the night and borrowed your car, or worse......then sure - allow him to continue to stay there.

    If you are really 'worried' about a man that is stealing from you NOT having a place to live and throwing your child out on the street and how he's treated YOU in kind? Then call the local mens shelter and get the hours of operation FOR him - and give him cab fare or DROP him off.

    Possibly he could call the people he got the POT off of and couch surf for a while until he is established with a job = I mean he has been buying drugs with ----some type of income - where is he getting THAT? Not a job? Okay - someone has been supporting him - who?

    I'd also provide him with the number for labor=ready or labor=force work a day, get paid a day places.....

    Then I'd make sure he understood you don't want paid back - just get out. As far as "His" stuff - bag it up - hand him garbage bags and if he doesn't want to bag it up - HELP him.

    PUT it OUTSIDE where he doesn't have to come INSIDE to help himself to anything else of YOURs -

    Change the locks - check the windows.....and explain that if he is caught on the property without calling prior? you WILL have him arrested for trespassing, and you are letting friends and neighbors know.


    Continue to let him live there, forgive him for stealing twice from you with BS excuses, keep paying his way, buying his food, letting him live there rent free, expect nothing out of him - and you'll get a grown man that expects nothing out of himself.

    Just an observation.

    Hugs - I know it stinks - but I won't tolerate a thief that I put up, support and forgive - then steals again. First time? I can forgive? Second time? No maam.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I don't know your entire story.
    But, he has done this before. He is 21. Time is up. I think you should NOT help him out by giving him any money and it is good that you asked him to leave. You should NEVER ever ever give him your ATM card and you should make it perfectly clear that if he ever uses your card again or takes money from you in any way, shape or form again, you will call the police and then really and for real, call the police and REPORT the theft.

    I agree with Star, work out some arrangement to have his "stuff" removed from the house. Hopefully, he'll pick up some things right away (make the offer) and tell him that he needs to pick up the rest within 30 days. After 30 days, consider throwing out or giving most items to charity...keeping only the most him a little more time for those things. Keep written notes of all your conversations...dates...etc. And I also think it is a good idea to change the locks!

    I WOULD offer to pay for him to get to see an MD for medicaion (if he is not taking any currently) and for therapy. Once he is doing those things, perhaps consider paying for a trade school (if appropriate). Consider also at least a few family therapy sessions. (Only pay for appointments if you know he is going and pay directly to the doctors).

    by the way, if he ends up in the hospital, that is unfortunate, but it is ok. It is not your fault. Has he been prescribed medication? Is he taking it? Has he looked for a job? It is probably a VERY GOOD idea for your son to understand that you are not going to rescue him when he makes these bad decisions. It is especially important now that he is 21. No more more excuses.

    Since he has a mental illness, you might want to make the generous offer of medical help if you can afford it. BUT, it is his choice to accept it or not. You need to set boundaries. Allowing someone to steal from you is not a boundary. You are also sending him a mixed up message and that is that you are someone he can take advantage of when he feels overwhelmed. Where does it end? Who else might he take advantage of? Again, he is 21. This has got to end. It is very sad. Very very painful for you, the parent. But the situation worsens when the adult child has no clue that he or she needs to be accountable for their actions. If they are sick, they need to reach out to the right people for medical care. But stealing, is not reaching out for help. It is taking advantage of others and breaking the law. It is going in the wrong direction. Consider, letting him know that that by your ACTIONS...not your words.

    You wanted help being know in your heart what has to be done. It is hard...very hard...but you can set limits.

    Is there a Families Anonymous Group or NAMI group in your area? These are organizations you might want to check out.

    Sending good thoughts....remember, these are only thoughts...possible ideas....suggestions. You know what is best. But, it is noticeable from your post and recognize you must handle this very differently than what you have done in the past. You are strong...remember this.

    Check out this information on detaching
    Lasted edited by : Mar 12, 2011
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Nomad put this much nicer than I did - and she added the detachment article. It is my hope that you were helped by my suggestions. Brash as they were, it's still my opinion that your son stole, he's taking advantage of you, and he needs to find accomodations elsewhere.

    I would ask you to ask yourself this question beacuse it is the one that helped me when I struggled with similar situations in telling our son to GET OUT. "If this were a stranger in your home? How many times would you have allowed him to steal from you before you called the police or told him to get out?" If you want your son to behave like anyone else. You have to start treating him like EVERYONE else.

    And so - we did.

    We threw him out, he's had to fend for himself - and I worried like everyone else what would happen - and it's actually been one of the best things I could have ever done for him. And us.

    Hope this helps - apologies for being so short.
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh hugs... no doubt about it this is a really tough position to be in as a parent. I have also been there, with the stealing from us, the drug use, and using our car without our permission. What finally helped me realize we really had to kick him out was that if he could not live in our house and respect our rules, how was he going to do out in society. You really cannot get along in society if you break all the rules and don't respect others or the law. So I felt my letting him continue living with us, with his really bad behavior and obvious drug problem, we were sending him the totally wrong message. I feel if you let your son stay with you, you will also be sending him the wrong message.

    What is hard is that he is your son and you also love him and I am sure you want him to know that. That is why this situation is so confusing for a parent. So there are ways you can still show him you love him without letting him take complete advantage of you and treat you badly. In our case we texted him, we kept in touch, we took him some clothes and things. He didn't keep in touch with us a whole lot until he got arrested.... but it meant that when he got arrested he still called us. So keep in touch with your son and if he ends up in the hospital he will call you!! And if that happens maybe it will force him to get help for his obvious serious drug problem. Seriously he has a serious drug problem if he is stealing that much.... maybe it is only pot, but it may be more.

    In our case our son got arrested several times and ended up in jail for two weeks. What a wake up call that was. He ended up in rehab out of state.... and is having his struggles finding a job etc... BUT he has been sober for 5 months which is huge.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am not feeling kindly towards wayward sons at this very moment.

    My son was 21 when he made the mistake of his lifetime in stealing from me. I charged him with forgery. He now has felonies on his record for life. What your son did is no different. If I were you, I would charge him. I would go to the bank and have THEM take out the papers on him that way you arent the one being the bad guy. Also you cant stop it later. Just have them look at the tape and tell them you didnt authorize him to make that transaction and they will have you go to the police to file a report. They then take it from there.

    Its time for your son to be on his own. Right now he has no incentive to do anything. He wont unless you force him to do so. Toss him out of the nest and he will be just fine. He will couch surf until he figures it out for himself.
  7. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    You have to realize that you can't "do" for someone else. Just like you can't exercise to help someone else lose weight. Each individual is responsible for their own actions. And no matter how much we as parents hurt over our child's choices in live, it is their choices.

    You have tried to help your son and he doesn't change. It's that old saying "Nothing changes until something changes" You need to change something and that is your helping (or enabling) your son.

    As a Mom I know how you feel. When my daughter Steph moved out (left) at 16, I was sure she'd be dead within a few months. She's not. She's still living a distructive life, but she seems to survive it with no problems (at least to her).

    Ant has been on his own since 16. He seems to have no problem finding couches to surf on, and people to take care of him.

    It is very hard to detach. But that is our job as a parent. I was told once that from the moment of birth, our children are on a path away from us and that we need to be willing to let them go so that they can be adults. I know it's harder when the child seems to be throwing that life away.

    I wish you the best of luck. And come talk to us everyday if you need to. We are all going through this together. And the support I get here is what helps me deal with my kids when I don't know how I'm going to make it through the day.
  8. hurtinginky

    hurtinginky New Member

    Thank you! I, too, find myself in a very similar situation as original poster. I have a 21 year old daughter who is destroying her life. My nutshell story is that she had 1 DUI and went to treatment - did well for about 4 months - met a boy - a "BAD" boy - got 2 drug possession charges within 3 months - went to counseling - did well for 6 months with the help of AA and now back at it - stealing, lying and 99.9% sure using again. We (parents) have done everything we possibly could to help her - provided her with treatment; attorneys and continued to allow her to live in our home (with conditions) while she worked to get her life back in order. She was doing extremely well for a period of about 6 months when all of the sudden last week things started changing. She wasn't coming home and seemed to be avoiding us. Of course, it threw up a red flag - we KNEW something wasn't right. Confronted her with drug test and it came back clean except for Amphetamine which we wrote off as her ADD medicine. However, slurring of speech, stumbling, glassy, floating eyes told us something was definitely not right. To give her the benefit of a doubt (again) we took her to an MD who stated that anxiety was the reason for her symptoms - that anxiety mimics alcohol consumption. Hard to believe but she's the MD, not me. Anyway, again found daughter in same condition, slurred speech, stumbling, eyes glassy and immediately performed a drug test (saliva) and breathalizer. All came back negative except for the Opiates. Now, that was a new one to us. Had her do the test 3 times - 2 of those times she left the room while doing it... 1 time I sat with her and watched every move she made during testing. One of the tests it looks like she attempted to alter the opiates by drawing a line on the test screen to indicate a negative reading. other two definitely came back positive. Last straw. I've done everything for her and I'm neglecting my other children because of this. I can feel those kids becoming resentful and even hating their sister now. She is literally tearing the family apart.

    This morning, I found her and a boy in her bedroom upstairs in MY house. That was it - threw her out. I just need to be strong and not fall for her lies anymore. I think, we as parents, tend to want to deny there is a problem because in some way it my be a reflection of our parenting. However, I've come to the realization that I am in no way responsible for the choices my daughter makes. I have 2 sons both doing extremely well. No drinking and no drugging from them. They are involved in sports and community activities. They do well in school. So, I have assurance from looking at them that I am NOT the terrible parent I thought I was.

    I find it humerous how these addicted children try to blame everyone else for their problems. How they attempt to "turn the tables" and make us the bad ones. I pray for all of them. I pray for their safety in this cruel world. I pray for their lives to be spared long enough to find the help they need - which THEY need to do on their own.

    This morning I took all she had except for her new car (yes, she was doing so well 4 weeks ago, we purchased her a brand new car). She, however, will have over $1300 monthly expenses by the time I cancel her car insurance, cancel her cell phone, cancel her health insurance and stop paying her school tuition. She has nothing and I fear for what she is going to do but I can't dwell on it. It is what it is and I can just pray that she finds peace in her life to the point she doesn't need to lie, cheat, steal or use any mind-altering drugs/alcohol.

    She is a great person. A truly beautiful being... but only when she is clean and sober.

    So, I wanted you to know that you are definitely not alone in your situation. I, too, will be struggling emotionally the next few weeks with this. It is hard to be betrayed by your own children. Whether it is their stealing from you or their lying to you... it hurts. We birthed these children and raised them day-in and day-out for the past 21 years only to be rewarded with their poor decisions that obviously don't bother them but eat the parents alive. It is nothing we did - we MUST remember that. Being strong to yourself is key. They are adults now and they should be responsible for their own actions. The friends they choose (unfortunately) are probably the majority of the problems. We've always said my daughter's "picker was broken" meaning she cannot pick good friends - she gravitates to needy people and people with issues themselves, be it drugs, single parenthood, etc. I can honestly say that not ONE of my daughter's friends (in her entire lifetime) has been a good influence on her.

    God be with you as you try to get through this tough love thing. Know that I am here with you - going through the same thing. My daughter is naiive and I do fear for her. I have to let go and let God... as they say in AA.

    Thank you to everyone who posts to this thread as your views are so important to me. I need the reassurance that I'm not alone. I need the reassurance that I am not responsible for this destructive behavior. While I know in my head that I cannot continue, my heart does cry for her and I do sometimes get sucked into the lies. I can't do that anymore and I need this forum to keep me strong!!
  9. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    I couldn't take a lot of time answering in the first post. I had to leave to take easy child to the airport. On the drive there and back I kept thinking about your post.
    In the past few weeks, we've had a skier die in an avalanche, someone die when a tree fell on their house, a car load of 19-20 boys die in a car wreck because they were drinking and driving, and Ant's good friend was sentenced to 50 years in a federal prison. In first two situations, things that were out of their control happened to them. The other two it was consequences of their own actions. each of these cases, their is a mother who is going on with life because she has to. In all cases, none of these mothers did a thing to cause the situation and none of them could of done a thing to prevent it.

    In the case of Ant's friend...M did everything she could to help her son including getting the police involved. D was on his own path and there was nothing M could do.

    But let's also look at this from the other side. How has everything you've done in the past helped your son improve on his life? By giving him a place to live and a small allowance, has he learned to be responsible for himself? Has he learned self-motivation? Has he learned how to be an adult? Or is he still living the life of a Junior High kid whose mommy takes care of everything?

    I have three kids, one is on his way back to college and two are throwing their lives away right now. (and I say right now because I do hope that they get it together someday). All three kids were raised together with the same opportunities. Add to that, Ant is so much smarter and more talented then easy child could ever hope to be. Yet, they have each chosen their own path in life. And no matter how many times I tried to be a road block or even a brick wall to prevent the two from going down the path they didn't help. It didn't stop them or slow them down. But it did make them all that much more determined to go the way they want.

    There is no easy answer. I really wish, for my sake, that there was an easy one.

  10. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I too am feeling not real kindly toward sons having one in juvie for the first time and the other homeless again because he's been evicted again. But I really don't think that makes my advice too harsh. And you titled your post "help to stay strong". So here's my 2 cents.

    I have serious bipolar issues. I have anxiety. I have other issues too. But - I do not steal from anyone. I do not build up debts to drug dealers. I have worked when able. All of these things have been true my whole life - no matter what although when I was in full mania maybe I would have stolen due to the psychosis. Clearly he is not manic.

    He is addicted. He needs help with that. You have not helped him with that, on the contrary you and husband have made it easy for him to worsen his addiction instead of helping him work out a strategy for recovering from it.

    You have made some mistakes. That's OK. We all make mistakes. Your responsibility is to stop making mistakes now that you know about them and do your best to figure out how to love him without enabling him. So you might want to look for a Nar-anon or other co-dependency group in your area and start attending regularly along with getting a sponsor. Your husband too.

    If he's willing to enter treatment, you might consider loaning him the money for that. But I would draw up loan papers and I would have real consequences for failure to pay. And I would require that I approve any treatment program I am paying for and that it include regular drug testing and a clean-sober approach (not a harm reduction approach) at this point. He may also need treatment for other addictions you don't know about and I would want a thorough assessment of that at some point in the treatment program.

    I think you have not done your son any favors letting him think that stealing from the people who love him the most in the world to pay for his addiction is OK and comes with zero consequences.

    What will he think is OK in future intimate relationships? Who will he decide it is OK to betray in the future? How big does the theft have to be to qualify as too big? How old is "old enough" for him to be kicked out or charged with the theft? 25? 30? 45?

    These are the kinds of questions I ask myself when my guilt-gathering tendency has kicked in and I am thinking that I should excuse difficult child 2 for becoming violent or stealing from us or when I am tempted to try and rescue difficult child 1 from the life he has chosen. And let me tell you, if ever there was a "kid" who could give you justification for rescuing him it is difficult child 1 who is 3 feet tall, can break his arm just by turning it the wrong way, has never walked and needs help with almost every ADL you can think of, has cognitive limitations, has significant mental illness - in other words is a walking advertisement for a helpless person. One of difficult child 1's redeeming features is his regular rejection of our help. We still step in at times to support the caregiving network he is embedded in. But that is because it is the ethically right thing to do as human beings, not because we feel guilty and responsible. This is true of his entire caregiving team and the professionals in that team are becoming desperate to help him because he has burned pretty much every bridge there is to burn when it comes to housing.

    So here is my advice today in bullet format - an echo of the replies you have already gotten from others.

    Out of house today. No, you do not owe him any warning. Did he warn you that he was planning to steal from you? Out. Of. House. Today.
    Change all locks today.
    Report ATM cards and ALL credit cards as stolen today.
    Anything he doesn't bag up himself will go in storage or donation or trash and he can make arrangements with you to pick it up at a future date.
    His presence on property without advance warning or while you are gone is trespass and will be treated as such.
    Tell him you will press charges for any further stealing of any kind or any stealing he has done that you do not know about right now that he does not tell you about today. Check all recent credit card charges before you have this chat with him in case he has charged something without your knowledge and doesn't fess up.

    The one alternative you can offer - immediate hospitalization or placement in a treatment program as outlined above. That means within the week. And he may stay in the apartment but you are changing all the locks (today) and he may come and go only when you are home. And you will lock up all your credit cards, purse, wallet ,etc. until he has actually left the premises because you do not want to tempt him anymore right? If he was an alcoholic trying not to drink you wouldn't buy vodka and leave it out would you? You would probably think that you were sabotaging his efforts to stay sober. Same thing with the ATM and credit cards.

    Many hugs. This is likely to be the hardest thing you have done in your or his life. But it is your job to push him from the nest. You have to separate from him just like he has to separate from you. And as someone else has said - bad things can happen no matter what.

    If your son is really afraid of these people he owes money to he can go talk to the police about it. I expect they might appreciate that information. Maybe they will have some thoughts about how dangerous the situation really is and what your son can do about it.

    Hugs for these hard times. You are not alone and you have already shown that you are strong - you came here when you could have turned a blind eye - again.

  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think Star, Patricia and the others have offered good advice. It is up to you...but it seems...
    If addiction is part of this equation, then you might offer him drug treatment. You might locate a place for him to go (group therapy for example) and offer to pay for services if you can afford it. You might give him the numbers for AA or NA. You might give him the phone number of the food stamp office. Assure him, that if he ever feels suicidal, that he should voluntarily go to the hospital and that this is ok. If he is depressed, offer to pay for him to go to the doctor and pay for a prescription. BUT, do NOT offer him a place to crash or let him stay in your home, do not give him money, do NOT let him steal from you, do NOT entertain his excuses AND call the police if he steals from you again or even attempts to steal from you again, protect your home by changing the locks....stay firm. Do not trust him. If he wants to go to the doctor, double check his attendance and pay the actual doctor. Detach, hold your head up high and move forward. I agree, this might be the hardest thing you have ever done. But, in the end, it is likely the best thing you could do for yourself and your son as well. You are a wise and strong woman. You can do this.
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    CAmom, perhaps it would help you to read some of your old threads. I'm hoping that it will lend some much-needed perspective and help give you the strength to do what you have needed to do for a very long time. Here are some links: from 2007 2008 2008 2010

    Has your son made any progress in the last 4 years? No

    Has your son upped the ante in the last 4 years? Yes

    Please read and take to heart the good advice in this thread and the good advice that has been given to you all along. I hope you will find some local support to help you do what you need to do.

  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think you did do the right thing. His story may or may not be true. If it's true, he's dealing drugs and bringing that lifestyle into your house. You don't get deep into debt when you purchase marijuana for your own use. You get deep into debt when you're the middleman in a drug deal. You could lose your home, and you could be arrested for drug dealing yourself if found with a large quantity on your property. If it's not true, he's partying on your money. Either way, he can't stay in your home.
  14. Bean

    Bean Member

    Yeah, so I'm not feeling too kindly in the direction of wayward adult children either. But... what everyone else said. I was looking at your signature of the "21 year old kid, living in an "apartment" (at home) with an allowance... seemingly happy, going nowhere" and had to cringe a little.

    If stealing money from your parents at that age is the lesser of two evils, imagine what else might be easier for him to take or do to you.
  15. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Suz, You hit the nail on the head. CAMom---you were here years ago asking for the same advice. You didn't want to take it then. I hope you take it now. You are allowing your son to continue down the same path he has been on for years----It's like giving a gun to someone who's just threatened suicide---If you back away your son might fall hard enough to get help--- he may head further down the path of self-destruction or he may seek help for his addiction.. If you continue to help, he may continue of the path of self destruction or he may seek help for HIS addiction. You didn't cause it, you can't control, and you can't cure it.
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Alanon and/or Families Anonymous are groups that might be of assistance to you.
    What everywoman said is something I have heard at Families Anonymous: You didn't cause it, you can't control, and you can't cure it.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think tossing our babies out is one of the hardest things a momma has to do. I was watching an Intervention show tonight and I could see myself in the mom. It was just agonizing for the mother as she kept finding her daughter actually stealing money that the mother kept hiding in places in the house. The daughter was a heroin addict and would plunder in the mom's house looking for any money or anything she could sell for her next fix. When the mom caught her, the daughters answers were "yeah, but I didnt steal your gold this time." The mom just looked so beaten down and sad.

    In the pre-intervention, the mom just said how she didnt know how she could ever just put her only baby out on the streets when she loved her so much. The guy said, do you want to love her to death? You are allowing the disease to make you sicker than she is. She feels no need to change her behaviors because you allow her to not feel the weight of what she is doing. You rescue her from the impact. Rang so true to me. I do the same thing with my son. I am his crutch. He doesnt have to change his behaviors and grow up because Mommy is there to catch him. I am doing him no favors. I wish I could attend the Betty Ford Family center. I am realizing just how co-dependent I am...Cory is my drug. I am really, seriously considering contacting intervention on both Mandy and Cory. I dont know if they would go. Have a real feeling Mandy would balk and Cory would refuse, especially since they wouldnt go to the same place. Mandy has complete blinders on and plays the who me, and pretends she cant hear a thing that goes on around her and that she is completely innocent in everything. BS. I know completely different. She can just play the innocent little, mistreated girl. I see right through her. Im pretty sure another addict would too.
  18. Bean

    Bean Member

    Gosh, what a poignant post. I watch Intervention, too, and see parallels to our family, our lives. That show was one of the first sources of comfort to me when dealing with my child.

    I'm not there to catch my daughter, and don't feel I'm codependant that way. Her life choices make me incredibly sad, which I don't think is entirely abnormal. But the fact that I'm not living enough outside of that might be a reason why I can't cope as well.

    It's hard. Dealing with addicted children is not a part of parenting that comes normal. It's something you really can't understand unless you've been there. Kudos to you for recognizing your own behaviors. I wish you could have time at Betty Ford, too. I understand what a gift that could be. Big hugs.