Here we go again

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by runawaybunny, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Posted on behalf of @Mimi44

    Hi. I am new to this site but have been reading the posts an I see I am in need of outside input. My son is 36 has been an addict for 10 years. I have lived the last four years with him in prison. He was released last June and was doing good. Had a job, girlfriend, reconnected with his son nd then comes the new year an his relapse. I just don’t believe he can handle everyday life. His relapse was very hard for all of us and he just spiraled right back to where he was four years ago. He got arrested two weeks ago when the girlfriend said he pushed her a couple times. She has dropped the charges but the state might pick up the case. He calls begging me to bAil him out but I just can’t hardly talk to him. I am so depressed he let all of this happen again. Yet after all we have done for him and endured I feel awful being mean to him and
    Can’t accept this is our life. Any words of encouragement and wisdom is appreciated.
  2. Hopeful Nana

    Hopeful Nana Simple Life

    My son was in prison and we went through the same problems..I tried to help him but he knew it all and everything was someone else's fault. He did go back to prison and I learned this time I could not save or rescue him. He had a public attorney and plea bargain for less time. He changed.. grew up this time. He has been out almost 10 year on probation with one more to go. I had to let him go and stop rescuing him. He is 38 this year and he's learning he is in charge no one else. It's heart wrenching to go through this again but I knew He had to do it I couldn't. God bless I know what you are going through. Hang in there be strong some times helping hurts them much worse n the long run.
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  3. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    What a terrible place to find yourself in as a mother. We all get it here. Some not as far along in the battle than you and others well beyond.

    Your son is an adult who made choices. He knows where help is and what life looks like with it. He knows you love him.

    Boudaries are important as you know. Do what the heat can endure and know enabling always makes things worse.
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  4. RN0441

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

    So sorry to hear your son relapsed.

    Do NOT bail him out and do NOT rescue him. Love says No. I learned that here.

    Read what Hopeful Nana wrote right after your post. This is the ending you want too.
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Mimi44, Mimi44

    I'm so sorry for what you are going through. Please know that you cannot fix this for your son, he has to choose to want to change.

    You are not being mean to him by not bailing him out or wanting to talk to him. Please do not think that as it's just not true. Also, your son is only one part of your life, do not allow his actions to dictate how your live will be.

    I know the heartache and hurt you feel. I've dealt with my son's chaotic life since he was a teen. He's now 36 and in prison again.

    Trust me, if love alone could save our difficult adult children we would not need this site. If throwing money at their problems would save them, we would not need this site. There is absolutely nothing we can do to help our difficult adult children. They have to want to change for themselves, they have to want to make better choices for themselves.

    I have been so far down the rabbit hole with my son I didn't think I would ever be able to be happy or have any kind of life. I am living proof that it can happen. Once I successfully detached from my son I was able to crawl out of the rabbit hole and come out the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) and take my life back.
    Detaching does not mean we stop loving our difficult adult children, it just means we stop enabling them and allowing them to hold our emotions hostage.

    You can get through this and it's okay to tell him no.

    Here is a link to a wonderful article about detachment.
    Article on Detachment

    Keep posting and let us know you are doing.

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  6. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I’m so sorry. Your post really is heartbreaking. The others speak from great wisdom. You’ve come to the right place. Sending good thoughts. You must be strong.
  7. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    The feedback you've been given is right on target. My son is in prison, but soon to be released, and I have to come to this site daily to strengthen myself and to get out of my own deluded thinking that I can or should save him.

    Sometimes I think we hurt more than our difficult loved one because we hurt for ourselves, for them, and others they hurt. I think my two difficult children are so self-absorbed that they rarely actually consider how much they hurt others.

    Believe what people here tell you: You are not mean, and you deserve to have a good life.
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  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I agree with the others and will be facing my sons release possibly in the near future. Prayers and good wishes.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son was in a sober living until a month ago.

    There living with him was a 58 year old man on parole. He was a meth addict. Mike.

    Mike is completing his a.a. degree. He plans on transferring to a major university. Until then he will work full time and save money. He wants a master's in psychology to be a therapist.

    The sober living is free. Mike has support. A place to live. Food. From that base he can build whatever future he chooses to. And he is doing so.

    There are resources. We are not those. We are their mothers.

    Now I feel a little hypocritical because my son is living with us for right now. We have found he does better for now where he has accountability. And structure.

    He is stepping up in a way he has not before. Baby steps. But I do not want this to go on much longer.

    The difference I think is that your son has gotten himself back into the system. And he will have to get himself out. This is not a question of structure and support. It is a question of accountability to society and the law. He must be accountable and to be one hundred percent responsible.

    I support how you see this. I see no role or place in this for a mother.

    It is heartbreaking and disappointing to say the least. But it is not the end of the story. It is his job to write the next chapter.
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  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Dear Mimi I am so sorry for your heartache. You have been on a long journey with all of the pitfalls of a beloved off the rails with addiction, recovery and relapse.
    How tangled up with this we can get, so much so that when we step back and even think of setting boundaries, it feels like abandonment, or as you wrote, being mean. This is how the addicted part of our loved ones want us to feel, as if the consequences of their choices are our own. We go down that rabbit hole of frustration and anxiety, wringing our hands in desperation trying to save them from themselves, from one dramatic episode to the next.
    Addiction drives their bus, and it begins to drive ours.
    Before we know it, we are so wrapped up with what the kids are doing, we begin to abandon ourselves, our peace of mind and joy go by the wayside and our focus is intent on rescuing and saving someone who does not want to save themselves.
    That is a horrible place to be.
    Then addiction wins.
    It has entrapped the family.
    That is how I have come to view this.
    It is like a double drowning.
    Enmired in the sadness and grief of our adult kids reality, our hearts aching, we begin to reap the desolation of their life choices and the seeds they have sown, more than they do.
    It is a vicious cycle.
    Addiction has got us too, hook, line and sinker. Like an addict using drugs or alcohol, we do not even see this happening to us. Instead of being desperate for the next high, we are desperate to rescue, desperate for relief, desperate for the insanity of it all to just stop, and feeling like we are the ones who have to fix it, to stop it. Before we know it, we have lost control over ourselves trying to control something we have absolutely no power over.
    The despair and feeling responsible begins to feel like love. That we cannot possibly live well, while our beloveds are “suffering”, that we must drop everything to fix the mess they get themselves in, use our resources, time, energy and funds.
    That, to me, is addiction winning.
    The alternative, allowing our loved ones to face the consequences of their actions feels foreign, when really that is exactly what we humans need to learn to make better choices.
    I had to figure this out the hard way as I dropped so many things to go running to fix the latest dramatic outcome for one or both of my two, only to realize I had fallen into the trap and it was just another Tuesday for them.
    Over and again this happened.
    They so easily took off the cloak of their circumstances and had me wear it. That was my choice, to take that cloak upon my own shoulders, because it felt like love.
    They were out partying again, and there I was, a wreck, all caught up in their “despair”.
    Blinking with disbelief like a deer in the headlights.
    Empty and shaken.
    I realized after going down that road countless times that wearing that cloak did nothing for them and was going to be my ruin.
    So, I took the cloak off and I stepped back.
    So they could step up.
    I am still waiting and praying and hoping for them to see their light and potential.
    I just know that I am not the one to rescue, or fix them. I am too emotionally attached, and am easily fooled into thinking they want to be helped into living a better life.
    In reality, they wanted my time and my resources so they could continue as is.
    Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
    They have to want to live better, to do better.
    Make better choices.
    If that is what I want for them, then that is what I need to do for myself.
    Make better choices.
    You too.
    Self care, is what we wish for our beloveds.
    That is the cloak we need to wear as an example for them, to what they are capable of.
    The cloak of self care.
    I had to turn it into a shield.
    Like the one on Star Trek around the Enterprise.
    I began to see that if it feels selfish to do this, to make a better choice for myself, ourselves, to switch focus from the drama and chaos addiction brings, to make boundaries to protect our hearts, to take care of ourselves...... if that feels selfish and too difficult, that is an indicator that we need help to find our way out of the darkness.

    I know how much this all hurts Mimi. It is a grieving like no other. Honor your feelings and get it out. Seek therapy if you need to. Read all you can about detachment. You know detachment was a hard word for me to swallow. I thought “I will always be attached in some way to my own child.”
    I use the word disentanglement. It helped me to step back and see how terribly wrapped up my life and my daily emotions became, with their choices. That imagery helped me to slowly untangle my emotions that were intertwining with their addiction, to separate myself from the insanity of it.
    You are not being mean by setting healthy boundaries. To make the choice to not get all caught up emotionally in the consequences that unfold with your sons choices?
    That is not mean.
    That is showing him there are limits to your involvement with his consequences.

    I know how this feels, I had to do the same with my two. Set healthy boundaries, pull up and out of that swirly whirly of drama and chaos.
    Resist that awful nagging urge to go into full rescue mode.......the learned insistence that I just had to do something, anything to save them and if I couldn’t, I had to feel it.
    Depression, despair, anxiety.
    It was killing me inside.

    It felt really strange at first, to pull up and out of the entanglement, like I was not caring.
    There is nothing further from the truth.
    I love them with all my heart.
    Enough to say enough.
    Enough to want to be out of the crazy fracus, waiting on the other side, if and when they decide to make better choices.

    They grew up and chose.
    This is their life.
    This is them, addicted and using drugs.
    This is not me, my doing, my life.
    Not my choice.
    My monkeys, but so not my circus.

    We did not cause this, cannot cure this and can’t control it.

    Mimi, sacrificing yourself and your life, your heart, your peace of mind and your sanity will not stop your son from choosing as he does.

    This is his life and his choices.
    This is not your life.
    Yes, you are living with the reality of your sons addiction, but it is not your life.

    Addiction is a clever beast. It has a way of worming itself into our lives until we are so caught up that we can’t see straight, can’t think straight.
    In this, we have our own battle to fight. That is to be constant and determined to not let the addiction and drug use and consequences our beloveds reap....... take over our own lives and lead us to despair.
    We cannot make good choices from desperation.
    It makes no sense for us to let addiction infect us too.
    It takes work to pull up and out of the mess of this.
    I believe that is love.
    Love says “NO, I will not go down the rabbit hole with you.”
    Love says, “I will strengthen myself as a testimony to what you can achieve.”
    Love says, to our selves, self care says, self love says “Wait a minute, take a deep breath, say a prayer. Meditate. STOP.
    Stop going into the swirly whirly rescue mode. Stop taking on the consequences of their choices.
    Stand firm.
    Stay steady.”

    It doesn’t happen overnight.
    It takes effort and work and belief that you matter.
    You do.
    Take small steps to lift yourself up.
    Read all you can. Post here and reap the wisdom of those who have traveled this path.
    You are not alone.
    So not alone.
    I understand the heart ache and gut wrenching sadness of this.
    It is a terrible waste of life for our beloveds.
    But, the end of the story is not yet written. As long as there is life, there is hope for better days, better choices.
    Our adult children are on their journeys to figure out what their lives will be.
    We are on our own paths as well.
    I do believe that as their first mentors, it is our job to lead by example, to try our hardest to live the best rest of our lives. That is what we wish so very much for them, to take life and all of its challenges on and find their true potential, so, it must be for us. That is our greatest challenge, to live well no matter what our adult d cs are doing.

    You have come to a good place to sort through your feelings, to build yourself up.
    You are so worth the effort to do this.
    You matter, your life matters.
    One small step at a time, you can stand up to your sons addiction and look it in the face and say with determination that you will not allow it to take over your life.

    I truly believe that is key to our beloveds being able to do the same.

    Please forgive the length of my post. I am writing to myself, as much as I am writing to you. It is a daily effort to stay the course for me. Life is short, and I do not want to live the rest of mine despairing over what my adult children choose.
    I want peace of mind, and joy. I wish that for you, too and all of us here.
    We want our adult addicted children to choose health, to love and care for themselves.

    That should be our choice as well.

    ((( Hugs)))
  11. Mimi44

    Mimi44 New Member

    Thank you all for your posts. So appreciated. I am truly trying to stay strong and stand firm. I know tomorrow when he goes to court an doesn’t get out he will be beggIng even more so I may just not be able to talk to him an that is ok, he knows I,love him an I can write him so glad to have found you all. Reading everyone’s posts helps keeps me focused. I pray we can all have peace and our loved ones will find their way out of the demons grip.
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  12. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    New Leaf you are so eloquent.
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Tired Mama, You are very kind. I am tired too, and often rambling in my posts, still working through the stormy seas of this. My two are deep into their addiction and have abandoned their family for their choices. Somewhere out there, drifting. We have not seen or heard from them in months. So, at times I have to swallow that big lump in my throat and carry on. Say a prayer and know that God will look after them, that there has to be something left deep inside of what we tried to instill when they were babes.
    Posting here helps remind me that I am not alone and there are many other parents on this journey. May we all find strength to carry on, despite what our d cs choices may be.