I just threw out my 21 year old addict son

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Khris, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. Khris

    Khris New Member

    As the title reads, I just threw out my 21 year old addict son.

    He has been looking for a job for the past 4 months. Amazingly, he cannot find one despite everyone hiring around us. Each day i was not sure which son i was coming home to find. the good one or the nasty belligerent one who would go off on tirades at me. As i found out, he can make more money selling drugs. A few months ago, I started to notice things missing. Little things like all the change i had in a bowl in my dresser, his younger siblings piggy banks emptied. There was always denial on his part and I so wanted to believe him that I overlooked it.

    Then came home the other day to the overpowering smell of weed in my home. I don't even allow people to smoke in my house. When asked, he denies everything. Has no idea where that smell is coming from. Then I noticed my Xbox One and controllers are missing. But he knows nothing about them and told me the problem is mine if I can't find stuff. The Xbox was in the living room below the TV, so kind of hard to misplace. I tried to point out the logic that if he was home alone all day, where did the Xbox go? He just kept repeating that he had no idea and i should "stop f**king bugging him because he is getting pissed, so if I was smart I would stop right now". That day i had enough and ordered him out of the house under police escort. He was furious and went off into a tirade about me. The police were great and told him to leave now or go in cuffs. His choice. He also tried to explain that "this is your father, and you have no right to talk to him like that". Fell on deaf ear.

    After I ordered him out, I found out from your neighbors that there was a party at my house that day while I wasn't home. The freezer was half empty, snacks and drinks all cleaned out. When i checked the trash can, there was a kitchen garbage bag full of cigar packets, empty bags from weed, tobacco pieces and straws. Remember he was home alone all day. He could actually stand there and tell me all this with a straight face. Just lie after lie.

    I found out even more when I cleaned his room. Empty blunt packages, empty bags from weed, a bowl. All stashed in different places around the room.

    He is now texting me about how he needs money and I have a responsibility as a parent to give it to him. Because this is all my fault. He is an addict and needs help which he denies of course. It is so hard for me right now. I just want to cry but i know what I did is best for him, my other children and me.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry that you lived that way. You did the right thing. You and other kids need peace.

    Your son is 21, not 12 and why do you owe him money? He probably has money from the things he stole unless he used them for drugs, which is on him. Hes a man

    If he is an addict, you add to his ability to buy drugs if you give him a dime.

    Sending strength to you. May be helpful not to read his texts.
  3. RN0441

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


    Welcome and sorry you have to be here but glad you found us. YOU DID THE RIGHT THING.

    Your son is an adult. He lives in YOUR home and must follow YOUR rules. You have the right to a peaceful and safe home where no one is using drugs, swearing at you, stealing your stuff. Living in denial.

    Our son is also no longer in our home after five years of putting us through hell. I am so HAPPY he is no longer living with us but of course I love him and it makes me terribly sad that things have to be this way.

    Others will be along to offer you great advice. We are all in different stages of this journey. None of us asked for this to happen to our children that we love so much. I tried to help my son for a very long time and almost lost myself in the process.

    Stay with us. You'll get strength from the group.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Oh my sympathy goes out to you. I have been there and it is very hard. He will find ways to survive.... my son has been on the streets of Denver in the middle of winter.... there are ways to get food and shelter. You did the right thing. If you have younger children you have to protect them from all of his shenanigans and drug use. Find an alanon group for parents if you can.... getting real life support from other parents who have been there can really help.
  5. JaneBetty

    JaneBetty Active Member

    Khris, you did the right thing.
    Isn't it funny how we want to believe our children, even when presented with evidence contrary to their assertions?
    We start second guessing ourselves.
    I agree with SomewhereOutThere, don't respond to the texts. Your son is resilient and he needs to figure out what direction his life is going to take.
    It's too comfortable in your house for him to make the necessary changes.
    Keep posting, others will chime in.
  6. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    When I was 21, the agreement was that the only way my parents would give me money was if I stayed in college. If I dropped out the deal was off. Many of my students say this is the way it works for them, too.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Gee, when I was 21 I had a job and a baby and a husband. At that age you are MORE than capable of supporting yourself and your parents owe you NOTHING, especially if you are doing NOTHING for yourself. My parents did help us, but my husband and I worked hard and went to school and worked to be good parents - if we had skipped any of those things I am sure that my folks would not have helped.

    Be kind to YOURSELF. Do good things for your other kids. Remember your responsibilities to your OTHER children, especially your responsibilities to keep them SAFE, including safe from their older sibling if he is doing drugs and having parties with unsafe things going on. They have a right to a safe and peaceful home where their things do not go missing, and it is your job to make that happen for them. It is hard, especially when you have to protect them from your other child. I have been there, and had to do that. I totally sympathize with you and with how difficult this is. Focus on the other children and do NOT give in to the pleas of this adult child of yours. Let him figure it out for himself as he refuses to follow any rules that you set.
  8. Khris

    Khris New Member

    He texted me last night saying he needs money. Why? Because whoever he is staying with has kids and if he eats they will have nothing. So if the kids have nothing to eat, it is on me and he hopes I can live with myself knowing that. Despite all of this I had to laugh. Once again, it is what he wants and if he doesn't get it, well, it is my fault. Same as usual. I told him that he is 21, he made his choices and what happens from here is up to him. I also told him that he has a problem and he needs to get help. Well, after that he blew up my phone with text messages. Righteous indignation at me saying that he has a problem. How dare I say something like that with no proof like a drug test. I didn't engage and didn't answer as it was pointless. I had the locks on the house changed and even had the police come in to look for any potential points of entry to the house. For the sake of my younger children in the house and myself, safety and security come first.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was married at 20 and worked at the Chicago Tribune. I had severe learning problems and mental illness and my husband was not understanding but I chose not to use even alcohol and got help.

    It's the person, not the age. My parents didn't give me a dime. I feel being on own with challenges made me the strong person U became.
  10. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    He is spiraling. You did the very best thing you could possibly do for him. It might be easy to fall into the "he IS my kid, so he IS my responsibility" thinking, but that is wrong. Well, it is accurate, but giving him money is now the responsible thing to do for him. The responsible thing is to let him feel the weight of his terrible decisions. If he never has to experience consequences for his actions, why change them?

    His righteous, indignant mood is telling. It shows that, up until this point, he has never experienced real consequences. So he plays like he is being persecuted, or oppressed. That is because, to the privileged, equality feels like persecution and oppression.

    He is doing more than JUST recreational drug use. NO drug use was permitted in your home, however. That was your rule. He violated that. But his drug seeking behavior shines a real light on his usage. Some people can just use a drug to enhance an experience. But only a junkie steals to get high. I know from personal experience. And the stashing paraphernalia everywhere is normal for an addict. I used to do it so much that, when we moved, I found around 15 oxycontin pills stashed that I had forgotten about... And to think of all those nights I laid up in severe withdrawal.... I would steal just about anything I could from whoever I could. I was an equal opportunity :censored2: head. I stole from the only 2 adults in my family that ever gave half a single :censored2: about me. My aunt and uncle, whom I basically worship. This just goes to show that it isn't personal, even when it seems like it is. I adored both of them, and didn't want to hurt them, but their feelings were second to my ability to get high. Simple as that.

    Oh, and the ridiculous lying... Almost 2 years clean, and I look back at some of my own shennanigens and feel disgust and shame. Telling lies that were so easily discovered, but then clinging on to them for dear life. You could have installed a video camera, with audio, showing him (holding 2 forms of ID) unplugging the Xbox and walking off with it, and he would still look you right in the eye and insist that it was not him. My uncle walked in on me swiping some cash from his wallet once, and I STILL insisted it wasn't me... Seriously, I didn't even admit to it until over a year ago. It's insanity, but it's addiction. It is a horrible disease that doesn't just hurt the addict. The addict becomes a grenade, and will harm whoever is around him. Your best bet would be to pull the pin and throw it back (jk), or distance yourself from it as best you can.

    He stole from your other children, too... Why should they have to pay for the shittiness of their older sibling, who SHOULD be looking out for them? They have nothing to do with any of it, but they suffer just the same. It is an unhealthy situation.

    He is now desperate, so his attempts to get money or shelter from you will only intensify at this point. It's gonna get worse before it gets better. Unfortunate, but true. Your best bet is to keep your foot down. Respond only like "I love you, but you are a man, and need to figure it out on your own". Do not engage. Do not argue with him. Even if it is to correct some falsehood he says. It will only add more wood to an already out of control fire.
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  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is straight out of the addict handbook. It is always someone else's fault.

    I think that you did the right thing. He made his choice by breaking your rules. Now it is up to him to figure things out. Don't let him engage you . . . it is a power struggle that you can't win. He will keep upping the ante.

    There is something in dog training called extinction training. A dog will keep up unwanted behavior and will get frantic if it doesn't get what it wants. For example, the dog might keep jumping up on your legs to get picked up.
    If a bid for attention has been successful in the past, and now fails, a dog may up the ante before giving up. A dog who is no longer rewarded for jumping may, before ceasing the behavior, increases its intensity by jumping more frantically and/or mouthing at the person. If the person continues to ignore the behavior, it will stop. It is called an extinction burst.

    Addicts do the same thing. They will up the ante as they get more and more desperate for money and drugs. You need to stay strong. Eventually they will stop asking when they realize that you mean it.

    I had to take a break from my daughter when she was at her worst. I blocked her calls and texts and deleted her emails. She finally stopped calling and asking for money because she realized it wouldn't work any more.

    I am so sorry that you are going through this.

  12. Khris

    Khris New Member

    DarkwingPsyduck: I cannot thank you enough for your insight here. There were a couple of other things I have noticed now in hindsight which I think support what you say about being beyond weed. For example, I would go through a lot of sugar, as the sugar bowl would be empty every couple of days but no one in the house uses it. He would eat mostly cereal and only eat "real food" when I insisted on it. I googled this and found out it is common in advanced drug users.

    I also want to thank all those who posted messages of support here. It really helped reading them and getting validation that I have made the right decision. I guess you can say that I am now firmly past the denial stage and with the house as calm as it is become, there is no going back for me. That is MY choice. My 3 early teen daughters are so relaxed now it is uncanny. I explained to them why my son is not living with us and they didn't seem surprised at all. That kind of surprised me as well. They did not ask a lot of questions either.

    Today I am going to start packing up his room and storing his stuff in the basement. I am not going to start a "shrine" there. Oh, and by the way, the mysterious "smell" that was always present in his room is now gone. What a surprise, right?

    One last question for those who have been in this position. When/if he wants his clothes and things, do I let him come into the house to get it? Should I put it out on the front porch? Do I have it delivered somewhere? I am a little afraid of letting him inside (okay, a lot afraid).
  13. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    No need to enter..you can leave them out. There is only so much he can cart around with him when couch surfing. Eventually the friends he thinks he has will show their true colors.

    Sorry for yet another broken heart...at some point your son can emerge without the addict and get help...that is when he should come to you.

    Blessings for the hard decisions..but kudos for keeping your home a sanctuary for you and your other children.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Khris..... I would pack up his stuff and maybe meet him somewhere when he wants it. I would not have him come to the house. Also a piece of advice i got when we kicked my son out is to keep the communication door open.... text him now and then to let him know you love him... but don't invite him back. Dont engage with him if he gets nasty but continue to let him know you care about him. We did this with my son....and when he got in real trouble he would call us. Many years have passed and lots of rehabs and homelessness etc. He is now 25 and that sense of entitlement is gone and the one thing he knows is that we love him. He is actually back at home now for the first time in 7 years. But I am very glad we kept letting hi m know we loved him even as we let him live on the streets.

    Also your teen daughters probably were a lot more clued in than you realized. I also had a teen daughter when we kicked my son out and we had to protect her from all his terrible behavior. She still wants nothing to do with him but is no longer living at home which is why at this point we let him come back.

    Good luck in this journey.
  15. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    I suggest leaving his belongings out for him. It's a symbolic gesture more than anything else. It is an assertion that he no longer has ANY business in your home. Not even for a couple of minutes to take his stuff. It projects your resolve on the matter. The most important thing you need to be right now is consistent, and firm. Whatever relationship you have with him needs to be on YOUR terms. You've compromised more than enough, and it didn't help anything. He is the one making the piss poor decisions, not you. Show him that playing the victim is no longer going to work, and that he needs to man up and accept responsibility for his choices. He's no longer a child. You aren't going to be around forever to rescue him. He has to learn how to rescue himself. You should be supportive only if/when he starts making positive changes. Support the good he does, and not the bad.
  16. Khris

    Khris New Member

    Well, my son texted me yesterday and wanted some more of his belongings. I did exactly as you said DarkwingPsyduck. Put things in a bag on the front porch and he did pick them up. Since last Friday, I am finding out from others who didn't want to "snitch" that he has been doing / selling weed and Percocets. I am having my family and friends over for Thanksgiving so last night I was putting out liquor. Found that full bottles of Gin, Canadian Club and Rum were missing. I just wanted to cry (and still do). I can't believe he could lie to me and just be doing all this stuff right here. I guess there was a lot I wanted to believe but now the curtain has been pulled back and I see what he has become. I also found receipts in his room for food stores. I did some digging and found out he actually filed for welfare benefits and got them. I don't know what he told them, but he has an EBT card. I don't plan on doing anything about that as he is not living here. Unless anyone has a suggestion on this one?

    I am having about 25 people over today and I thought to myself this will be the first holiday that he cannot ruin on me. For years, he has torpedoed Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. with completely manufactured arguments. I always said that he could start an argument with himself. Yes, that was his procedure. He would take some insignificant thing and blow it up. I wouldn't even have to say a word and he would just keep going and escalating it. I don't know how many times I would say "you are arguing with yourself, please stop to no avail.

    I also want to say "Thank you" to all for your support and while it is rough right now, Happy Thanksgiving to all.
  17. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Relax and enjoy your day. The truth will set you free. You now know without a shadow of a doubt that you made the right decision when you made him leave.
  18. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Have a good day with your family...you deserve it.
  19. I have a 22 year old step son that is in serious behavioral problems, smoking habit and no focus on life at all....

    I understand holidays and family gatherings are the most uncomfortable situation. During this year's Thanksgiving, my wife's sister and her family came down from Northern California for few days. OMG my step son behaved like an ARMY trained person. 180 degrees different from how he usually is. It really makes me angry as other family members think I have issues... That really makes me angry. I am not looking forward to this Christmas or any sort. I just want him out of the house so that I would get back the feeling of wanting to come home... When I think about my step son might be there makes me not wanting to come home. Nowadays, he avoids any contact with me as I refuse to speak with him for months, he doesn't come home until 10 where all the basketball and football games are over. I am having a very difficult time that he is living in my house.
  20. scott's mom

    scott's mom New Member

    I have a 27 year old son who, I found out 2 years ago, is a heroin addict. He stole some property from his girlfriends mother and a bunch of stuff from me and his dad to support his habit. He was arrested and placed on 4 years probation. He was doing great, got a new job and was behaving himself but that was probably because for the first 90 days he was on electronic monitoring. Once the bracelet came off, back in December, everything started going back to the way it was when he got arrested. I was catching him in so many lies. He has a no contact order with his girlfriend and her parents but continues to see her. I'm finding stuff missing again, most of which belong to my mentally handicapped grandson who I have had custody of since he was an infant, he is 13 years old now. He loves video games and I found brand new games missing that he got for his birthday, I called around to local video stores to see if anyone has sold them games and sure enough they had about 11 games sold to them by my son. So in January I kicked him out and called his PO to let her know that I kicked him out and that he was using again and everything else I knew. I figured he needed to be locked up again to get him off the street and away from the drugs and the girl who has always been a very toxic element in his life. But his PO did nothing. She told him I called her and he said we had a fight and I was making everything up. She must believe him because he is still out. Only now he is committing more crimes and using more drugs. He has stolen money from a single mother and her kids (all the money they had) and he stole checks out of someones purse at work. I got all this information from the single mom and his boss at work. He was NEVER like this before he started using. He was the one person everyone could count on. I know he is sick and this disease has taken over my son, but my point is if his PO had listened to me to begin with none of this new stuff would be happening. He told me when he saw her for the first time she told him that if he was going to pee dirty to tell her and she would not test him that week. This county does nothing to help these people. I want my son back. How can I report his PO for not doing her job? (I don't want to report her to a county office, I would rather go federal) Do I write the judge? He is going to face more charges now for the checks which didn't have to even happen if she would have revoked his probation to begin with. I agree he needs to go to prison and do his 4 years. Thank you for taking the time to read this.