How do I deal with the hurt

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by luludean, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. luludean

    luludean New Member

    My two sons left. They are into synthetic marijuana and marijuana when they have money for it. They don't want to be responsible. The oldest is 23. He's a father, his daughter lives out of state. He doesn't even send money. He will feel guilty and try to change but then he drinks, or gets high, no motivation, depression and insecurity takes over. We, his parents, have been trying to help him since he was 17. Letting him stay at home, enabling him, now his 18 year old brother is the same. Anti-government, don't want to work. Train hopped for a while. Etc etc. finally a month ago they were upset that my husband would not drive them into town where they could buy their synthetic marijuana so they left. We sent them a text not to come home until they were drug free. A month now, I don't sleep well, I'm depressed, not to mention pre-menopausal and I have epilepsy and the hormones and stress induce seizures. If it were not for my anti seizure medication, I would be a bigger mess. I pray to God, I believe He is watching over my kids, but the hurt is so strong. I have one son, 15, at home and my husband who are also affected by this tragic situation. I just don't know how to deal anymore. It's too much. No parent ever looked at their tiny baby and imagined this is how it would turn out. What did we do wrong? Were we too nice? Spoiled them? Not strict enough? Did we, hubby and wife, fight too much in front of them? Did we work too much?
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Lulu. I am so sorry you are going through this. It is very, very hard, I know. I'm glad you found us.

    Well, you didn't create this situation. Once your sons reach adulthood, their changes are up to them. Drugs alter personalities and stunt the growth of a young person in the years the brain is still developing. Only your sons can alter the course of their lives.

    You likely enabled your sons like many of us here, but you also may have been the worlds best parents and done everything right and your sons could still have made these choices. It is wise and prudent and important that you stop the guilt, it will only make you suffer and the truth is it doesn't matter what you did , right now, your sons are adults and they need to be responsible for their actions. This is not your fault. It is the choice of your sons, you can't control that. To the degree that you try you will suffer. I think it best you refrain from the self blame and concentrate on what to do now.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. It would also help you to attend 12 step groups like narc anon or CoDa, or family anonymous, to help you begin detaching from your sons behaviors and choices. It may also be helpful to retain a therapist and/or a group for parents where you will get the support you need to make difficult choices, to give you tools to detach, to offer understanding and compassion for all of you.

    You have to take care of YOU. You must put the focus that you now have on your sons on YOU. We forget how to do that when our kids go off the rails. But in order for you to have your health, your well being, your joy and your life back, you must begin the difficult journey of detachment. There are many wise and very caring folks here who have been in your shoes, continue posting it helps to do that and you will receive the empathy and support you will need so that you can regain your footing and find peace of mind............regardless of the choices your sons make. I know that sounds like an impossible task right now, but with guidance, support and a commitment from you to find that peace, you can do it.

    Place your sons in the hands of a higher power..............hang in there, as you learn to detach, as you take care of you, as you receive the support from like minded others, you WILL begin to feel better, it does get easier as we learn to negotiate this territory with A LOT of self care and detachment skills.
  3. Sabine

    Sabine Member

    I have something for you to think about. Spend some time reflecting upon what it was like when you were 18-25. What were you doing? Where were you living? What sort of relationship did you have with your parents (or guardians)? If you weren't living with your parents (guardians), how often did you contact and/or think about them? How often did they contact and/or think about you? What is an "ideal" amount?

    As parents, we're in a lucky situation where we KNOW what it is like to be in the kids' shoes (not the specifics like drug use, maybe, but at least we were once young and can somewhat relate). The kids, though, have no way of knowing what it's like to be a parent.

    I'd like for you to start splitting your day in half. Half of it should be devoted to thinking about/spending time with your 15 year old, your home, and any other family members. The other half the time is spent on taking care of YOU. As you may have noticed, there will be no time left to spend worrying about the two adult children. This is how it SHOULD be. If you're a praying woman, pray for them each night, but the rest of the day is spent taking care of those in your home that need you in the here and now (most of all yourself).

    It's a tough situation, but it CAN be better.
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Lulu, it is so hard to understand how we got here. Looking back, I know I enabled my son, but I also know that he has the addiction DNA and brain chemistry. It is likely that he would have been triggered anyway, regardless of what I did or didn't do.

    I know that I kept on thinking he was just immature, lazy, selfish, for a long, long time. I thought he would "grow out of it."

    It has only gotten worse. Once he started drinking, that led very quickly to marijuana and then to prescription drugs, who knows what else he has done? My parenting (good or bad) had nothing to do with that.

    He can't just have one or two beers, glasses of wine or anything else. He has to get smashed.

    It does no one any good to spend time looking at the past, except to understand how to do better in the future.

    I also have a son who hasn't gone down that road, and he grew up in the same house. difficult child was a much harder child to raise from the get-go. But they both had curfews, part-time jobs, responsibilities, we had family dinners, vacations, a mom who worked out of her home and was always around, etc.

    Lulu, none of that made any difference.

    Let go the fact that you were not a perfect parent and perhaps you enabled your two sons. You also did the best you could at the time. Perfection is not the standard.

    I do believe their age is a key factor. It's no accident that we are usually talking about kids/adults between 16 and 30. As we all have read the research, the brain doesn't mature until about 25 years old. A brain on drugs stopped maturing when the drug use began. For my son that was likely about 14 or 15. That is the maturity I see in his decision-making, maybe even younger.

    One time a sheriff's department officer told me that I had about three or four more years of "this." I said: What do you mean? She said, "Well, that's about when I see a lot of these young men wising up and turning their lives around."

    Is this true? I know one person on this site says that if the insanity is still going on after age 30 that it isn't likely to change.

    Lulu, you are hurting so much right now, and I hear that. I am so sorry for your pain and grief and fear for your two precious sons. I get that as my son got out of jail last night and I don't know where he is right now. For me, today, that is just fine.

    I am praying for you Lulu, for strength, and courage and most of all, for peace.
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    One of the best ways to overcome feelings of guilt regarding the part your parenting played in what is happening to your sons is to read as many posts here as you can. It will not take very long before you see that when the issue is drug use, the stories are similar. When drug use is involved at any level, no matter how harmless the drug's reputation, the kids' behaviors are similar. They become irresponsible. They do not finish their educations. They come to hate their parents. They run with others whose value systems are as addled by drugs as their own.

    They never have enough money.

    They stop dressing well. Their cars are wrecked or destroyed piecemeal in the strangest ways.

    There are so many parents here, Lulu. We are from all walks of life, we have raised our children with so many different kinds of parenting styles. Some of us are divorced. Some of us have been married, have been moms at home, have been on the PTA and in Scouts. Some of us have created successful careers and have all kinds of money to throw around, and some of us don't have two cents to rub together.

    The one thing we all have in common, here on the site, is that we think something about the way we parented caused our beautiful, perfect children to fall into a lifestyle dominated by drugs.

    I'm sorry, Lulu. It wasn't you. It wasn't anything you did or did not do, or did or did not do often enough. I know that feeling of searching so desperately for that missing piece, for that magical something that will change this nightmare into the life you thought you were living with your children, with your sons.

    I am truly sorry this is happening to you, Lulu. I am sorry for the paths your sons are walking, and I hope with all my heart that they can turn this around and reclaim the lives they are supposed to have.

    Please do as Recovering Enabler suggested, Lulu. Read the short piece on detachment pinned to the top of this page. That will be a start, for you. As you read our stories, here and on Substance Abuse, you will find other parents too, who can help you understand.

    I am glad you found us.

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  6. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I wish I had some sage advice about how to deal with the hurt. You got some good information and thoughts from others though.

    For me, I'm a big aching ball of hurt for the most part these days. My difficult child's treat me with such contempt sometimes that it's almost too much to bear. I know I made some mistakes, probably some doozies, but overall I worked hard to provide my children a loving and stable home that I never had; thinking that I, through sheer will was going to stop the vicious cycle of alcohol and drug abuse, depression, along with mental illness, that runs strong in both of husband and my family lines.

    I was no pushover. I tried to be firm, yet loving. Do everything the "right" way. However, I was in no way prepared for the maelstrom of child rearing that was/is motherhood for me. I was so desperate to fix IT, fix THEM. Yet, despite my best efforts (Doctors, counseling,testing, medications) , I have one adult difficult child who is pretty much a mess for the most part, and one who will be turning 18 in a few months, who just walked out of the house slamming the door in my face simply because I asked him the name of the friend whose house he is going to go hang out at.

    I agree about focusing on your child left at home and your husband.