I feel so, so weak

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by rebelson, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    CD friends, please don't give up on me. We all are at different stages of detachment, right? Well, I am what I would label the 'toddler phase'.

    I am updating because now, a different story is unraveling with my son. Per my last thread from last Friday, my son's cell was going directly to VM. On Saturday, hub had a welfare check. Son was fine. His cell phone is broken. As I wrote, last time (last year, March) I repeatedly got his VM, with no rings for ~24hrs...he was in a hospital needing surgery from an accident. So, deja vu came to haunt and torture me last week when hours, then days went by, calls right to VM.

    During the welfare check, the officer told him to 'call your parents, they are worried.' He waited until yesterday, at 2pm. My family and I had just arrived at a dog park with our dogs...when I got a call from a NY #. It was son, using someone else's phone. First word he said was 'I love you, Mom.' He rarely says I love you. We spoke for a few minutes. He didn't even come out and tell me he needed $. But, he was saying that, to get a new phone, or his fixed, he needed to go to a certain 'phone store', and was on his way there. It would only be $15 due to it was insured.

    I asked him about a traffic fine that he was given on Jan. 17. It was for lack of proof of insurance in car. $110 ticket, but only $10 if he goes to court house to show proof! He has until tomorrow to do so-30 days will be up. ALL last week, I reminded him...'take care of that ticket or you'll end up owing hundreds and your DL will be suspended.' He put it off. And off. And off.

    Yesterday, while I had him on phone, I reminded him AGAIN. This time, I told him 'if you don't take care of that ticket tomorrow, you would owe lots more than $10, your DL will be suspended, and then if you get pulled over with-suspended DL, you could very well be arrested, your car could be impounded..costing lots to get out of tow company..so PLEASE go tomorrow.'

    He told me, 'Ok, where do I go?' I texted him 2 times, where to go, last week. So, I said 'to the courthouse.' This guy is so smart, but NO common sense. He said, 'Right now, I am going to the phone place to get phone fixed, I will text you a picture of it after I do it...then I have to work at 4.' I was like (I'm sure he got fired) 'you have to work at 4? where?' He said 'why do you ask where?' I said, 'oh, ok, at the deli place? 'M', I am not ever sure what you're doing or where you're working from day to day...' In a low voice, he said 'yeah.' I'm almost positive he's lying at this point and has NO job.

    As the conversation was ending, I had to go, family was waiting for me to enter dog park, I told him (he never did ask, I offered, I was so relieved to talk to him..I just was like whatever! I'm going to give him the $.): 'M, I am going to put (transfer) $25 in your account. $15 for the phone to be fixed and $10 for the ticket fee. If you don't go to take care of that ticket tomorrow...I will be furious!' He said thanks and ok.

    Well, that phone picture text that he promised, never came through. So, last night, I went on to his bank account via my phone app. I had forgotten that back last year after his accident, he gave me some of his passcodes. One to FB, one to bank account. I still had it written down. Last night, for the 1st time, I used it. Not shocked at what I saw, but VERY sad. My son, while he was living with us, and his grammy, had never, ever stolen. That was just something he never, ever did. Never went in to my purse, nothing. He was wayward and using, but never stole from us.

    Well, he is now stealing from us. Via $ that I give him here and there. So, going/looking back a few weeks, on his account, there would be a 'bank transfer' from me, to him. Then, the very next transaction, that very same day, would be to a 'pub, bar, beer & liquor store, CVS purchase.' Whenever I would give him those funds, he always had some type of verbalized 'true need', i.e. food for dinner, gas for car to go to work, you know. Legit stuff. Stuff that he knew a mom would never deny to a son.
    Lies. Lies. Lies. Is that stealing?

    The $25 that I transferred yesterday? Soon after it, 4 transactions. One to McDonald's ($5.36), then a pause. Then, I checked an hour later- a transaction at a 'local 'beer & liquor store' ($7.29). I went to bed, sad. This morning, checked again. After I went to bed, (around 10) he had gone to 2 more places- CVS ($6.55) and Super Walmart ($1.92). All these transactions used all but around $4 of what I gave him. What I gave him for phone repair and ticket. Leaving his account with $4 in it.

    When he called me yesterday, he sounded SO sober and SO normal. And, then...he did THAT.

    So, you'd think with all this: a ticket that he could easily rectify with a drive to downtown and $10 of which he won't do...even though neglecting will accumulate many more problems for him; asking me for $ and then buying liquor with it; lying to me-which he has never really partaken to this degree; etc.

    You'd think I'd be DONE. Yes, I am MAD. But, with that said. I feel so weak!! I know I cannot keep this up. I KNOW it. The problem is DOING IT. I have his phone number on silent, meaning if he texts or calls me from his phone # today, I won't hear it.

    Please don't give up on me. The advanced moms on here are probably tired of reading all these posts of weakness. But, I cannot help it. I am doing the best that I can. Yesterday, during mass, I quietly broke down in tears. It just flowed. I could not stop it.......
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  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hon, your son's behavior is typical of a drug user. I think you know this. They do anything to get what they want and many need a phone for drug transactions and money to buy them and most don't work so t hey steal, even from us. One day you will probably get so fed up you will take action, in your own time. We were all in the beginning stages once.

    Until then, I'd make sure my bank accounts, credit card numbers and anything else of value are changed or locked up. If you don't do this, things will continue to disappear. I'd also change the door locks and only let him in when I was at home, although he can steal even if you are there.

    I wish you some serenity today. Do you see a therapist to learn coping mechanisms for this big problem with your son? Do you go to Al-Anon? It is really too hard to do it alone. If you go to Al-Anon, you don't have to say a word. You can just listen. You will learn a lot in every way. It is not easy to deal with a loved one who is a drug addict. And, trust me, your son is a drug addict. I don't know if you know everything he uses...it is likely way beyond pot. Few steal for pot.

    If it were me, I'd limit my talks with him and tell him, if he starts a sob story which involves money, "I will be happy to talk with you. I love you. But any conversations about how you need money are as of now off limits. I will have to get off if you do this. You are smart and can figure out a solution."

    Hugs. Maybe set a good example for your son about getting help for himself by getting help in real time for YOU.
  3. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Rebel,

    Most of our difficult adults do the same thing when they have a small/medium problem that they need to take care of--they ignore it, which then leads to a bigger problem, that they continue to ignore.

    Even when we remind them to take care of the problem, remind them of the consequences that will come from not taking care of the problem, give them the tools to fix the problem (money, transportation, phone #s, etc.), they still don't get it accomplished. Or even attempt to.

    They don't seem to care.

    This is the mindset of most of our addicted young adults. It is a pattern.

    Yes, what he did is theft and deception. Manipulation.

    You are a bit like Saul of Damascus, when the scales fall from his eyes and he sees the truth for the first time.

    It is a process for us to finally recognize the truth. At first, we just can't face it. Then we slowly come to accept it.

    It is so difficult.

    Stay with us, Rebel.

    It will be a painful process to recognize the truth, but it will set you free.

    Hang in there, we are here for you.

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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Yes Rebel, we are. No worries about us giving up on you. We are here for you through good, bad, kind of bad, great, not so good, etc....

    I have been where you are, teetering on "that's it, I've had it" to "I'll just do this one thing for him"
    The good thing Rebel is you are aware that you need to stop enabling your son and that is a bigger deal than you might be giving yourself credit for.

    All the worry you went through these last few days was for nothing as your son turned up ok and 9 times out of 10 that will be the case. You are hyper sensitive because of the one time he needed surgery. Going forward try and hold onto the fact that what he doing is typical behavior. Our d_cs at times will appear to have fallen off the face of the planet when in reality they are okay or as okay as they can be for the choices they are making.

    It's easy to allow our minds to catastrophize and think of all the horrible things that could happen. The only way I was able to move on from doing this was to accept the fact that yes, the worst could happen and for me that was that he could die and I would never know it. You see Rebel, I had to accept that I had no control over the outcome of my son's poor choices. I had to let go, I had to start working through the grieving process. I grieved for the son I used to have, I grieved for the relationship that I was not going to be able to have with my son. I truly had to let go.

    It's not an easy thing to do, to let go but in order to move on with our own lives it's something we have to do and it takes time.

    It's just so hard to believe that our children can discard us so easily. The are off partying, doing what they do and they don't give one thought about us until of course they need something from us, usually money, and this is where the manipulation starts. They are counting on our emotions to be raw so they can guilt us into giving into them. They use our love and concern for them against us.

    I know how much you want your son to live his life in a more responsible manner. I want the same for my son too. They are going to live their lives the way they want to. We can tell them everyday what they need to do, what they should do, but it will fall on deaf ears.
    I appreciate that you wanted your son to pay his ticket and to get his phone fixed. It was very thoughtful of you to put money in his account. Your son has shown you that he is not interested in your advice, this is clear in the fact he spent the money you gave him on food and booze.

    Rebel, I am so sorry you are having to endure this kind of heartbreak.

    Stay close to us here, we are always here for you.

  5. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    One thing my therapist told me that helped me TREMENDOUSLY, because I am a "fixer" and have that "if I could just...and she will finally straighten out" mentality, is that it doesn't matter what I want, plan or do for my daughter. If it isn't HER plan, HER desire, HER want, or important to HER, I am spinning my wheels and wasting time and energy trying. I have spent my life trying to "put a plan" in place for her or "fix something important." I have done nothing but patch her up with bandaids for a long time.

    Your son sounds the same. If the ticket were important to HIM, he would have dealt with it. When you step in with advice, reminders, money, "help," you are just taping him up with bandaids.

    Unfortunately they have to bleed some, feel the pain of their consequences, and we parents rush in to "fix" it and "save them" from their own pain. And it hurts to stand aside and let them feel that pain but we must. From my own detaching process, I have seen that my daughter has a high pain threshold and is oblivious at times to the damage she does to herself - but I cannot be her safety net every time she climbs on the highwire with dangerous, reckless or irresponsible choices. I am not going to be around forever and she has to fall so she can decide what is worth the risks and how much pain she can stand.

    It is hard to clasp our hands behind our backs and close our lips, but we must. We must become the audience to their dramas instead of playing supporting roles.
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  6. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Not one person on this forum will be disappointed in you. I meant to respond to you the other day. Your son sounds so very much like mine.

    You know that when you get sick & tired of this, you will stop. I found CD when I was absolutely sick & tired of my eldest pulling stunts like this. Three years later, not much has changed for this son. For that, I am very sad. What HAS changed is that husband and I are no longer living in the futile lane.

    Because of many years' experience with this son, and because of CD, we stopped wiring him money, sending him checks, worrying ourselves sick. My eldest seems to still be pretty much on the same track, but husband and I jumped off.

    When that moment comes for you, you will feel so much better. I would not wish this on any parent in the universe.

    I am so happy for you that you found this wonderful place. It will help you immeasurably. Stay close; it saved my sanity a few years ago.

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  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Rebelson, and we're glad you are here and posting. We're never going to give up on you or anybody here.

    You are not posting "weakness." You are posting the very real and true pain and agony and grief and fear of watching your precious son make these types of choices for his life, and having to stand by and just watch it. It's the hardest thing in the world, to do this for someone we love so very much.

    This is the key right here. At some point, we reach our "no more" point. For most of us Warrior Moms, it takes years and years and years. We never "want to give up" on our precious adult children. What we come to see, in time, is that we're not giving up, we are, as another person called in on the forum here "pivoting" and dealing with it all in a brand new way. We have to learn this brand new way, because it doesn't come naturally at all. We become ready to learn the new way when we are at our sickest and tiredest and just can't do this thing anymore. We then have to read and study and practice new ways of thinking and behaving, and again, we will go back and forth...and that is perfectly okay. We are learning a whole new life, and it takes time. But it's worth it. It really is.

    When we change, like SS says, there is no guarantee that our DCs will change. They may and they may not. Also, we can't know the future. They may change in time, not in our time, but in their time and I believe, in our Higher Power's time. It seems inconceivable to us that they will do the things they do, and do them over and over and over again.

    But if we can stop....and see....we will see that we do the very same thing in our response to them. We keep on doing things that make no sense. They never have worked, and they never will. But we keep doing them anyway, because we don't know how to do anything else.

    We are more like them than we can see. As Al-Anon says, it's a family disease. Addiction and mental illness become family diseases.

    this is 100 percent true. But think about it: We are their mothers. We have literally kept them alive, and the bond is unbreakable. We have to ***learn*** how to let them go---the DCs and the PCs. We must let grown people go because it's not our place to "parent" them forever. We have to learn where we start and stop and where they start and stop. I truly believe I somehow thought my son and I were the same person, and learning to let him go was the hardest thing I have ever done.

    I had to do this, too. I had to "play the movie" and realize that yes, he could die on the street, using drugs, in jail, homeless, in a ditch somewhere or in a drug deal or driving a car high or any number of ways. His life was dangerous. I used to push those thoughts away constantly because they were too terrifying. But as I grieved, I had to let them in , and I had to feel the feelings and process the pain and get to the other side to it. It took months and months. Almost every single day, I would lie down and cry and stare at the wall and sleep and then I would get up and do the best I could to get through the rest of the day. That was my grieving process and in time, I made time for it, because I needed to do it and I needed to do it until I didn't need to do it anymore.

    Pushing the feelings away was exhausting and kept me in a tailspin. Feeling them was so very scary at first, but I learned my feelings would not kill me, and in time, feeling them healed me, along with working very hard to change how I thought and how I behaved, through this forum, through Al-Anon, through books like CoDependent No More, and many other daily tools that I "assembled" in my toolbox and made time to use, every single day. I approached it like a college course, and I "studied" because I was so sick and tired of my life that I had to do something different.

    You will get to this place in time. You are moving toward this place right now, with your frustration and fear and pain at his choices. You have a right to take the time that you need. It's your journey and no one else's.

    Hang in there. We're here for you, though it all. Warm hugs today.
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  8. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Credit card access should never be in the hands of our difficult children it takes a huge amount of willpower to not use those money a huge amount if not for my wife who keeps me in check there are not gonna be money there. For a a difficult child who is not kept in check by anyone well those money will be used.
    When he lived with you and his grandma he probably did not steal because he knew the consequence of that and did not wanna risk it but now what are the consequences?
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hugs.... We have all been where you are and still sometimes get played by our kids who are addicts! It is not weakness.... You are a mom who loves her son and wants to believe him and it sounds like in the past he has not gotten to the point where he is lying and stealing from you.

    So now you know he is at the point where any money you give him will go to booze.... So that is knowledge for you. So when he asks you for money you can take this knowledge and use it..... Maybe you no longer give him cash.... But instead pay directly for whatever it is he says he needs. When you are ready to really step back you will.... When you get to that point where you have had enough you will find the strength to do whatever it is you have to do.

    In the meantime keep posting. No judgement here we have all been there.
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  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to say you are far from alone. I can't count the number of times I gave my son money and even made him PROVE where the money went - and then found he was lying. Once I made him give me a gas receipt...the one he forked over had the date torn off. He'd apparently found it in the trash or in the car or whatever. I discovered that he was going to the only gas station in town that will give you cash back. I'd put $20 for gas in his account and the bank would show $20...but he was actually putting in $5 and getting $15 back in cash, etc.

    I'm still dealing with it in little ways, but I've stopped giving money (well mostly - I gave $20 for a bus pass last week, only to find that he's been paying $1 a day to the bus and spending the rest) but will still buy a few groceries, etc.

    Just today I got a call, "I'm the only one working. I can't pay all these bills!" His girlfriend got fired and his other roommate isn't working either. He's right, he can't. I want so badly to help...but really, helping won't "help".

    I know how you feel. I have felt the same. :grouphug:
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Rebelson, I would be the last person on earth to rate any stages on this stuff, because no one knows what the future holds that may send us reeling back to stage 1. Who the heck can do this stuff? This is our kids and we love them. So, we do what we do, and still are able to look in the mirror. This is your path, and we have all been there, caught between the pain of the kids choices and doing everything we can to stop the madness.
    It takes time. It all takes time, and lots of patience with ourselves and working on it. You are doing something already by being here and writing. You are rethinking things, examining things. It takes that before actually doing anything, changing responses and patterns. Please don't be so hard on yourself.

    Not giving up on you dear, we are here holding your hand. Stay with us and let us know how things are going for you. We are here following along and we really do care.

  12. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    He finally got the ticket paid, on the last day where he could pay the $10 instead of much, much more.
    He is in the process of getting phone issue taken care of, today should be the day.

    I don't think he's working. Supposedly, since Tuesday, he's been 'sober'. Last night, he called me from homeowner's landline. He had gone to the gym and was feeling good. He told me 'I'll sometimes, like today, think about the future...like in a week or a month, and worry about giving in to a drink.' I told him 'one day at a time, each day, at the end of the day, if you stayed sober-that was a good day.' He agreed. I also told him...again...that this is what 'sponsors' are for! Someone to call when one trying to stay sober, feels weak. Am I wrong about what sponsor are for?

    He told me the other day, that his 'homeowner' where he rents a room, told him that he will only charge him $50/week instead of $150. Not sure that I believe that? What would be the motivation for the homeowner to do this? I think that son uses the pity story from the past on many 'chats' that they've had. So, while son says homeowner is charging him less, the next breath, he says 'I gotta get out of here...he likes to offer me cocktails.' Son often mentions going to one of the plethora of halfway houses in his area, but he cannot seem to stay sober for long enough to do so. I keep telling that him he needs a sponsor!

    He told me yesterday that some girl randomly messaged him on FB, and wanted him to "hang out with her and a few other girls at the beach". He said he was SO tempted, but declined. Maybe he only declined because I don't think he has any $, maybe he declined because he wants to remain sober. Bottom line is, he declined, that time. He ended up going to the beach by himself, anyways.

    He sounded good, great, actually. Always does, when he's sober! Which makes it so much more sad for me, when he messes up. His normal, is awesome.

    On FB, he messaged me 2 videos which he went on about, in a happy way! One was an adorable little 3yo, singing a Disney song, he told me: 'It was so cute, I almost cried...and you know that is not something I ever say'.

    And the other was a 1.5 minute video of how making your bed can make your day better, if you're on FB, you can view it, or maybe it will show here?:

    These 2 examples ^^^^, confirm for me, that my son does have a tender heart and does 'want' to be motivated and sober. You see? When son is sober and shares these thoughts, moments, feelings with me, I get a 'glimpse' in to the person he IS, whom he could be ALL the time...his true, authentic, sober self. So then when he relapses....these memories of these moments he lets me experience with-him, don't leave me! And that makes it that much harder to 'cut him off' or 'give up on him'. It is SO hard.

    You guys can see the personality differences between when he is 'drinking' (super mean, rude, impatient, disrespectful) and when he is 'sober' (sweet, normal, patient, engaging in a positive way)--->for even just 24hrs...I can see a positive difference THAT quickly. Up. Down. Up. Down. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    Thank you all. ;)
  13. RN0441

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

    OMG adorable! Yes he has a soft heart:x3: