Home from vacation....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ColleenB, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    So we are home now. It is hard for me to post, because I want to say the boys did great, all is well. But of course it's not.

    We came home to holes in the walls and older son has been gone since he picked us up at the airport. I know he is ashamed of the fact he did damage to the house.

    According to younger son he got drunk the same day we left. I guess he doesn't remember putting holes in the walls, or throwing food all over the place. Brother cleaned up most of it, but I was still cleaning yesterday.

    I am so disappointed in my older son. He seemed like he was ashamed, but I don't know if he really gets how disrespectful he is. Younger son said he just got drunk to get drunk, it was daytime and no one was here with him.

    I guess he didn't do it again the rest of the week? But not sure I believe him. He says he went to two NA meetings after that episode. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. I don't know. He hasn't been home for us to talk.

    Tonight younger son talked about moving out and taking a term off of university. I don't my blame him. But I feel like a failure as a parent.

    I am so defeated. I keep hearing about kids my sons ages who are doing great things, graduating.... And I feel like we modelled that and worked hard to give our boys the opportunities. This is what we get? Two boys who drop out?

    I don't even know what to think anymore.
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Colleen, so sorry for your coming home to this, but I am glad you posted, no judgement here, just empathy and understanding the heartache of it. We are all on this similar journey at different places on the path. What you do, is for you and your family. We will support you however we can.
    Ouch, holes in the walls and food thrown.
    I think these kids do stuff and don't have a clue while they do it, either drunk or high. I posted a link to an article in Water cooler about the cycle of guilt and remorse addicts can go through, how it can lead to either change, or more degrading using, then cycling with behaviors and the bad feelings about them.
    It is a macabre go round, not a merry one.
    This is not your failure, Colleen. These boys are trying to figure life out. You gave them the best you could.
    When my two were coming back and forth, it stressed out all of us. My youngest girl ended up moving out, part of it was to get away from all of the drama. Is your younger son doing the same?
    You did the best you could. The fact is, our kids go out into the world and are faced with all of these choices. You gave them love, values and opportunities, but they still have free will. They choose.
    Your son can change his mind, and work through this, but I wonder what is driving his thoughts.
    You have written that he is close with his brother, this may prevent him from sharing the whole truth of what is going on. It is a code, don't tell. My kids have told me stuff about my eldest, stuff they knew she was doing ten years ago, but never told me.

    Maybe you need to think about your house rules, who is following them, who is not. This may be a source of great frustration for your younger son. He may feel responsible for his brother, and he is tired of it.

    Sorry if I am too up front there, but it is what happened to my youngest girl.
    She was tired of it.

    I am sorry for your heartache.
    You are not alone.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Colleen, I'm sorry your return from vacation was met with this. You are not a failure, your son is an adult and he is making some poor choices. Is your younger son dropping out because of the turmoil in the home? I can understand why he would want to get out of that chaos. Maybe it would be good for him to be on his own. He can always go back. As far as your older son goes, it may be time for you to suggest he find alternative living arrangements since he can't seem to follow your rules.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    We cannot control another person, now adult, who is making adult choices.

    It may seem like other families have children that are uniformly thriving but you do not see behind the front door. I feel virtually certain that other parents, possibly your friends, look at your family, your sons, and believe that all is well.

    Nobody lives like a TV show. More like a reality show.

    For right now, try to be kind to yourself. Beating yourself up does not help. There is time to deal with the situation. Give yourself that time.

    I believe your younger may feel caught in the middle between, either responsible to mediate or supervise. What a tough situation for him. And for you and husband, and for your oldest.

    This week there will be time to think about how you want to respond.

    There may have been an element of conscious choice in the behavior of your eldest son. Could he be using his behavior to convey to you that he is over his head and needs your intervention? To demand that he seek treatment as a condition for your support?

    One thing I have learned is that our adult children need us to set a strong boundary, as much or more than they did when they were young. They need us to strongly take a stand to protect our homes and ourselves...somehow this helps them to do so themselves...to stand up for themselves.

    Heroin addiction is such a problem in the USA among middle class kids that it became a subject in the Democratic Town Hall Debate tonight in Ohio, I think it was. In my own family my niece became a binge alcoholic by the time she was 18. Her mother is a law school professor, and prides herself in being an excellent mother.

    There is no room here for self-attack and self-blame. If you decide you deserve that then the rest of us will have to fall on our swords, as well. I do not want to. It will hurt.

    You are a fine mother. And you are not the first mother nor will you be the last that believes in her sons with all of her heart and soul.

    Believe in yourself now. That you will get through this and do the right thing. And your son will too, with you as a model.

  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Taking a term off is not the same as dropping out. College is stressful, and if the home situation is stressful as well, then younger son may be wise to pursue some self-care - reduce stress etc. - before picking up his plans again. Later, they may be the same plan, or a different plan. It doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things.
  6. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hugs Colleen. You are so not alone.
    As my husband and I look back, it's odd but we can mark our vacations by what happened with our son, ie. was he in jail, just out of jail, lost job or about to lose job, ruining our home before or after our trip? What a way to pseudo live. Memories.
    this is your best self evaluation.--"I don't get it" and when we are in such foreign territory, so much better to PAUSE and regroup. Think, post, talk to trusted ones, evaluate boundaries to protect yourselves and other son, act slowly. No emergency here, probably been going on this way and more, for a long time.
    We have 5 children. I told my daughter re: Difficult Child that I am not happy with 80% success rate as a mother. I thought it was my effort that would "make or break" them. Funny how when they succeed, we say "aren't they wonderful?" When they fail we say "What did I do wrong?" You are a good and loving mother. Prayers.
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I agree, yes please no self blame. I do not want to fall on my sword either........
  8. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    You are not a failure as a parent. Your son is "failing" at dealing with life.
  9. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I'm trying.

    Son says he only drank that first night, and is going to continue with NA meetings.

    We are going to give him space, but keep an eye out for alcohol or drug use.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Even if you watch him, he will be able to get around it. They are uber good at being sneaky. It is not a good idea to trust them in our homes unsupervised. I made the same mistake once. Just once. She was asked to leave after she used while we were gone and at age 19 our asking her to leave caused her to quit. I believe very much in tough love for substance addiction. I believe the dont quit as long as they live in comfort in our homes on our dimes. There is no discomfort thus no motivation to stop the destruction.
    They also lie to us about how much and what they use. Lying like breathing.
    Hugs and warmth.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016