Is detaching ok right now? Or cruel?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by rebelson, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    It's apparent that ds (difficult son) is on some type of extended 'using' binge. No idea 'what' he's using, or where the heck he is getting it from. He has no $. I think we're on week 2.

    Some days, I am strong and don't dial his #. Some days (most, to be honest) I dial his # and pray it rings all the way to VM. If it rings many times then to VM, atleast I know he's likely alive as his phone is charged.

    On the days that I say I'm 'strong', I am not really, as on these days I obsess and worry and then call the 3 local hospitals to rule out his name on patient roster.

    This is not good for me. You all have reiterated that to me. My husband has also. I, as an RN, know this too.

    Saturday after MN, I was awoken by a call from a man, on my son's phone. Son had driven himself an hour+ down to South Beach (Miami Beach) to meet a 'wealthy' & beautiful woman (who is married with-2 little kids!) who gets her hair done by son's uncle. She and some other women had a room for the night so they could party in the club of the 'Fontaine Bleau'-one of the most elegant, expensive beachfront hotels in the state. Don't know the in's and out's of the night but apparently she invited him down, paid for his car to be valet parked ($50 for the night!), she got him drunk, then he couldn't get in to the club as he was wearing 'shorts', not pants. He went to leave but the valet guys wouldn't give him his keys. Thank God. So, this guy, a bodyguard just getting off work, took son to his truck and then called me. He said he saw son repeatedly dialing my # and getting VM. He called and reached me, as I had just 'miraculously' woken up to use potty...he said he was concerned for son. Long story short, I ended up paying $150 for a cab for son to get back home. I then refused the next day, to help son get back down there to get car. He did that by himself, impressive!

    Today, I spoke to son, he actually picked up. Maybe 'this' binge is coming to an end, not sure. Long story short, he told me that we were in some earlier chapters of his 'book', but the rest of his 'book' will be without us. He told me to stay out of his life, as the rest of his book will be for 'him' to write. :( I guess it would've been better idea for me to be an alcoholic, inattentive mother, like his father is/was? His father, who hardly ever gets Difficult Child's criticism.

    Today, I gave him some last minute advice. I told him that before he ends up in jail or anything else on par with that...that he needs to STOP the crap. I told him that I highly recommend that he restart the medication he was given in June...which was for bipolar. Not sure if he's actually bipolar, but it did seem to calm him a bit. I told him that his luck will run out eventually. He told me he likes his racing thoughts and his mind and that he was not trying to be like the average American (drugged on rx). But, I guess it's ok to be drugged on elicit stuff! :eek:

    Is it ok for me, to be trying to completely detach for awhile from him? I am talking completely. Not calling, not inquiring, not anything. Even perhaps blocking his #. Is this ok? Or, a horrible thing to do, as a mother? I just feel like I have to get off this bullet train that he's riding......
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion its appropriate to do what you feel is best for you. Talk to him when you can handle it and feel strong perhaps. or dont talk to him at all, if that is best for YOU. You dont have to give him another dime by the way and that would not be being cruel and any advice you give him most likely wont make him change obe bit. Unfortunately what he tells you he is doing and what he is really doing are most likely totally different. Any $$$ you give him may be going to drugs or other bad stuff.

    Its hard to decide what to do. Myown preference for an able bodied, mentally able man who lives this sort of life is to let him make his own decisions and learn through consequences. I personally dont believe it helps to help them with bad behavior.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    First of all it is ok for you to do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself and if that means cutting of all communication then so be it.

    However I do think there is more middle ground....You can decide you are not going to call him or check his phone or any of that. Turn your phone to silent at night so you can sleep. If he calls you and is obviously high you don't need to talk to him. If he calls and is abusive in any way or tells you to stay out of his life you do not need to listen to that. You can hang up.

    You do not need to give him any money.... Especially if he is using. You do not need to provide him a place to sleep. If he is in Florida it is not that cold and there are beaches with soft sand to sleep on. (My son has done this).

    So to me detaching is not necessarily about cutting off all contact but it is about living your own life and untying your happiness to his.

    So think about what is really realistic for you and what you will feel most at peace with. And then do that. Seriously you need to take care of yourself first.
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  4. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    It's ok to do whatever you feel you need at this point. I took a break of no contact with Difficult Child and it worked well for me...and him. I had to do tough love for 6 months. He would call me every other day for money. After 6 months, I took his call and for two years he never asked for one dime. He told me last year that was the best thing I ever did for him. He figured things out on his own, maybe not some of best decisions, but he did it on his own. Sometimes you just have to step back and let them take the reigns of their life...for better or worse. Like he said, he has to write the next chapter- so be it. If he contacts you just say, you know son I love you and you are right, it's time you write the next chapter of your life. Take care.
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  5. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    It's just that I subconsciously (and consciously) associate the phone ring or text from him, to be anxiety provoking. Is the text an angry or discombobulated, drugged/drunk rant at me? Is the phone call going to be the same? Yes, anxiety provoking. I suppose that I need to be stronger, right? I am not 'very' strong, so this is pushing me to the limits re: my history of anxiety issues. I guess I have to push the anxiety aside. In order to leave the ringer on, in order to not block him. Just deal with it?

    When I do block him, that also brings anxiety as I feel like I am 'missing an important call, text'. So, there is NO real solution, except to just deal with it, right?

    I don't know about you guys, but is the night time, right at bedtime, extra difficult for you? It seems that my sadness is very heavy then. It doesn't help that everybody in this house, is asleep, in bed, before I am. It has been my quiet time, but has turned in to a time of sadness most recently.

    I went to an AA mtg on Saturday. I did speak, actually full on cried. After, several ppl came up to me and recommended Al Anon, one woman gave me a woman's phone #, who had info on the mtgs. I called her and found some mtgs..will try to make one SOON.

    I just keep doing my St. Anne prayer for him, daily. Yesterday afternoon, he texted me a few times, in response to a few texts that I sent him. I wrote "please restart Seroquel! Love you!" And then he wrote back "Love you too". He doesn't say that often. Oh, did that make me happy to hear.

    I SO miss my son.......:(.
  6. RN0441

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

    Rebelson so sorry for the recent developments with your son. I think you should try to pull away as much as you can because I know from my own experience that they don't hear much of what we say to them anyway. You really need to get out of his drama and try to get some peace. It's not fair and you deserve some sort of happiness.

    I just started reading a book yesterday and it is fantastic and I recommend that you get it. I just bought it on my kindle for $8. It was recommended to me by a staff member at Teen Challenge. It's called Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children by Allison Bottke. I'm not big on self help books but her writing style is great and she gets right to the meat of the problem; she is spot on in so many ways as advice on this forum but takes a deep dive from there. I read 2 chapters and already got so much out of it and can't wait to read more. It is very emotional for me and I was in tears at times when reading because she does quote scripture and it is so in line with the message. If you even read the section called "why I wrote this book" you'll see she is just like us.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Of course you do. You miss the "real" son, who only shows up some of the time. And when he does, you are reminded of the good things about him and the good times you have had. And then the other side shows up and... it's the "other" side, very dark, very extreme.

    Hang onto the "good" memories. Look after yourself. And then do what you can for your son now - which sometimes will be "nothing".

    Remember, even the airlines tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first.
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Rebelson, Glad you are going to an alanon meeting soon. I found it a huge help to me!

    And yes night time is the worst. Between my worries and menopause I found when I am worried I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep! It is also the time when I often feel things and worry most deeply.

    So first things first.... You have to help yourself deal with the anxiety. It sounds like leaving your phone on creates anxiety and blocking him also leaves you with anxiety. What about leaving your phone on silent and leaving it somewhere else for a few hours at a time..... And then having a couple of times a day where you check it? That way you can prepare yourself to check it and have it be a time when you are not in the middle of something else. You do not need to immediately respond to his text messages even if he thinks you should.

    I also think it totallly fine to block him if that is what you need to do to reduce your anxiety. I am just trying to come up with some middle ground. Saying you just need to be stronger doesn't work..... You are where you are and giving yourself a hard time because you are not someplace different doesn't help.

    I think one of the things alanon helped me with is acceptance of where I am at and where he is at.
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  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rebelson I agree with TL so much. You have to find some way to deal with your anxiety. I know that's easier said than done. I don't have anxiety but one of my daughters does and I know how difficult it is for her to keep her anxiety under control. Even though I don't have anxiety, during the worst of my Difficult Child's time I found myself in panic mode at times, unable to eat or sleep from the worry. I kept putting myself in her position and it scared me so much. It took a long time for me to understand that until she hated the way she was as much as I hated it for her, nothing would change and I was wasting my time worrying for her. I did have to do exactly what TL said, accept things that I could not change.

    I have turned my phone off at night so that I could sleep in peace. Somehow my daughter always made it through whatever crisis she found herself in. You have to do whatever feels right for you. I also had to stop reaching out for her all the time and wait for her to contact me. I found the stretches of time that I was not worrying started getting longer and longer. I did a lot of reading and found two great support groups. I still worry but it is no longer consuming me.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Yes to all Nancy said. I also don't suffer from anxiety but had a taste of what it must feel at times with my son. The worst was when my son was on the streets in Denver in the middle of winter. He lost his phone so I had no way of knowing if he was dead or alive. I told him once you need to put your name and our phone number on something so if you are ever found then at least someone will call me! I was a wreck at that time and yet somehow I got through it. I think the two things that helped was alanon and the serenity prayer. I literally got to sleep at night at times by just repeating the serenity prayer over and over. I felt anxious all the time so I do understand those feelings of panic. So do what every you can and need to to take care of you. Your son is not thinking about how any of this affects you... You need to think about that.
  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have had to break off all contact for periods of time and found it very helpful. As you said, just hearing it ring or the notification sound of a text message would cause me to have PTSD. Knowing that I had blocked all calls and texts actually gave me a great sense of peace.

    My husband keeps in contact with our daughter on a weekly basis so we know that she is alive. He changed his number and only calls her once a week through google voice using an unidentifiable number so the calls are on his terms and she can't harass us. Our therapist had suggested to set a boundary of a weekly call rather than taking her calls every day at all hours. It has worked really well.

    Nights are not the problem for me. I guess it is because I get up at 5:15am every day and fall back into bed at midnight and fall right to sleep. However, mornings are the time I struggle. I often wake up in a semi-dream like state thinking about her.

    Does that happen to anyone else?

  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes Kathy, during stressful times with daughter I find myself dreaming about her and waking wondering whether it was a dream just my thought processes not being able to turn off.
  13. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Yes that happens to me too.... I often can get to sleep at night because I am so tired.... But then I wake up in the very early hours and have trouble getting back to I sleep.I definitely sleep better when I know he is safe.... I.e. In treatment or in jail.
  14. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I can sympathize with everyone here. I always panic when my son calls me...always thinking the worst. I have panic attacks in my sleep which always wake me up thinking I'm choking on crushed glass. I didn't know what was going on at first because I'd never had a panic attack before. Now that I know what they are, I shake them off and try to go back to sleep. When I can't, I text J and ask him if he's okay. He always texts me back. He and I have discussed my anxiety about him, and have certain agreements about things like this.

    Disengaging has helped. I do my best to stay out of his drama and not let him use me as his sounding board as much. There are certain things that I just don't need to know. I try not to think about where he is or what he is doing. I give myself permission to take a break from the worrying. In hindsight, most of my disengaging has been about stopping my own participation in the things that were causing my anxiety. I set rules for myself. It was hard to follow at first, but practice makes perfect, right? :)
  15. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Rebelson, I have been following along. I know it is hard, we naturally worry for our kids, especially when they have erratic, out of control behaviors.
    The thing is, we cannot control what our kids do, only our reactions and responses. With my two, it has been "decided" for me, because they have gone no contact.
    What was left for me to do was decide what I needed to do for me. I needed to switch my focus to working on what I could have control of, myself.
    I hope you keep posting here, and go to an Alanon meeting. I think it would be good to have some face to face time with parents who are going, or have gone through similar trials. It is in no way an easy fix, but it is also not impossible. It takes time and work. Little steps. Different direction.
    It takes patience and coming to realize that the only control we have is over ourselves.
    One day at a time.

    This is hard to hear, but it is also part of your answer. He is telling you to step back.

    It is okay for you to choose what to do. He is already telling you that he wants to do what he wants to do. No interference. Even if you continue to call him and check up on him, he is going to do what he wants to do.
    If he wants to ride a bullet train, there is no reason for you to be riding it with him.
    Get off of the train, and the tracks.
    It does not make sense for you to go down the drain with your health and your life.
    This will not prevent him from doing what he is doing.
    Try to switch your focus.
    I truly believe we do our kids the best service by trying to live our lives to the fullest, by our actions we are showing them what their potential is.
    When I find myself worrying and awfullizing about my two and my grands I say a prayer.
    If this is not your way, you can meditate, or write, go for a walk, do something that relaxes you.
    Keep a journal of your feelings.
    Do something a little or a lot different then what you have been doing.
    Take up a new hobby.
    Create a bucket list.
    I think it is perfectly fine to take a break, a time out to regroup and rethink things.
    It is a hard journey we all have.
    We are warriors, even soldiers take some r&r.
    You have value and worth, you matter Rebel.
    You are not alone, we have all been where you are at,
    trying to figure out how to get off the bullet train.
    The fact that you are seeing this,
    and wanting change is very big indeed.

  16. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    You all are so sweet & helpful. I am going to an Al Anon meeting at 10am tomorrow.:praying:
    His comment about his story will be his own now, was when he was stoned or something. Yesterday, I called him and he was at the beach...with an old druggy friend. Lovely. I called him several times over several hours cuz I could tell he was stoned or drinking...I'm never sure what drug he's on as he's never honest! The only one thing I can be sure of, when he's on 'it', is he gets really, really mean. Anyways, he was acting odd, talking low and calmly, almost too calmly. He was saying 'I'm with some beautiful girls on the beach..' So, I asked him to give the girl his phone! Ha. She sounded very young..maybe 18ish? I asked her if my son was drinking...or anything? She said she didn't know, that he didn't have anything with him. She said "I just met him."

    Later, another phone call and some different girls, still on the beach. Asked to speak with another one, he put another one on the phone. I asked her her opinion, did she think son was drinking? Or was he really messed up, stumbling, etc.? She said 'honestly, he and his friend both seem like they're stoned.' She was more helpful than the last girl. She told me they weren't 'that bad'. Meaning not really that messed up. He 'had' to be on something because letting 'mom' speak with some girls he just NOT something he'd do sober!

    Isn't this sad? I am so lacking in insight with-regards to son, that I am reduced to tricking my son to give phone over to strangers...asking them to let this worried mom know if son was in danger? :cry:

    He actually called me later asking for food $, said he spent the last 2 cards I sent him last week (Chipotle & Subway). I said 'no, I will not, cannot give you $ anymore! you spend it on alcohol!' I told him to call his Grammy, tell her your hungry..he said she won't answer phone anymore! He started begging me for food $, then he insulted me, so I took the opportunity to hang up on him. :speechless2: No more calls from him last night.

    Today, he texted me a song. Then, I texted him to see if he wanted a rescheduled dental appointment. He answered 'yes'. He still mentions going to Colombia! I think the roommate helped him to get an app for a passport! Grrrr. My husband said it takes a bit of time, to get a passport. Anybody know? I refuse to ask son any questions about it. I don't even know if his dad invited him there. This could very well be all of sons plan....:eek: Well, he won't be able to go there without an airline ticket. And the dad's address!

    Anybody know if Subway sells alcohol? This time I sent him a Subway and a Burger King gift card. I think Chipotle sells beer, that one was a bad idea. :redface:

    For now, I have my ringer on 'Do Not Disturb' at night, from 10:30-7:00am. That is what I am comfortable with at the moment.....
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  17. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just a heads up . . .addicts can sell gift cards to get money for alcohol and drugs. There are websites where you can do that. My substance abusing daughter actually mentioned that the other day.

    When I visited my other daughter in Colorado where she is going to grad school, I was surprised to see machines in grocery stores that let you trade in gift cards for money.

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  18. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Lovely. [emoji30] Well, he has no $ for food so maybe he'll actually buy food with it. [emoji19]
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Dont get gift cards. Addicts will sell them for drug money. Suggest a food pantry there are plenty of them. He isnt starving... probably just trying a sneaky way to get money from you for whatever he uses to get high.
    Users protect each other. Experience talking here. The girls wont tell you the truth. As my ex addict dsughter says,"never trust a drug user. All they do is lie."
    Take care of YOU right now. You cant control your son, but you can maybe go for therapy or to Al Anon to learn how to cope well in spite of your son. You deserve to learn skills to help you deal with your son in a better way. Hugs for all your hurt.
  20. RN0441

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


    If you go through the post office to get a passport it takes about a month to six weeks. I know in Chicago if you go right into the city you can get it in a few hours.

    Hugs and prayers to you.