Jail, Rehab

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Wendy23, May 8, 2015.

  1. Wendy23

    Wendy23 Member


    I have a 33 year old son who was recently arrested for meth. As a bond condition he must complete a
    inhouse drug rehab. He has no income, zero dollars therefore I am trying to find him one that is free of charge. I can not afford to pay rehab for him. I am already paying his bond and helping to support his six year old daughter. My other son is a herion addict. His aunt paid 3,200 dollars for him to attend an inpatient rehab and he relapsed as soon as he got old. My older son keeps throwing up to me that we paid for his brothers rehab and now we will not for him. I simply can not afford it and I think he needs one longer than three months. I found a free one and he says he will not go because he can not have a cell phone for 90 days. Sounds like he is not ready to give 100% to getting better. What do you think. Should I give him the option I found and then leave the rest to him. If he decides jail over it, then it is his choice?

    He can make me feel so guilty for not having money to help! I can only do so much!
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    HI Wendy,

    welcome to the board. YOu will get a lot of feedback here, you should read and take what makes sense to you. You will also get a bottomless amount of empathy.
    Others will come along, but I will start with my two cents.
    Your son is 33. As an adult, he made adult decisions that put him in this place. You have no real role here. If he cannot make bond, he cannot leave jail. You have done more than enough ( and more than I would, anymore...but in the past I would have done as you are, believe me!) by finding him an option. You have given him the favor of having a choice. If, like a toddler, he refuses both choices and has a tantrum...do as you would with a toddler and leave the room ( I was much better at raising toddlers than I turned out to be raising young adults).

    If you fix this, if you fix this bind he is in (and it sounds like it is not in your power to do so anyway), then what has he learned? Why would he change his ways? He is in a deep hole...not just that he has been arrested, but that at 33 he has no money and no income and a six year old daughter. He has a lot of ways that he , HE, needs to change.

    Here is what I think you should do:
    Tell him you have done all you are able, and it is up to him now.
    When he starts talking about his brother, you can let him talk now and then say, "I have done all I am able, with him and now with you. Now it is up to you."
    When he starts to go on and on, you can say.."I don't have any more to add. Lets talk later when you are calmer."
    If he never gets calm...you never have to talk.
    He has to fix himself.
    Please don't spend money on him. Shame on a 33 year old taking money from his mom!
    Please try to move away, and spend the time you spent researching options for him on researching support for yourself. Cause this is hard stuff. You are in a hard place, mama. YOu have long patterns and grief and guilt to deal with.
    You are clearly eligible for NarAnon. There are other support groups too, and therapists as well.
    And of course, there is us.
    Welcome to the board. Others will come along.

    Hugs to you on this difficult day.

    (I like to use my full name with newcomers but you can call me Echo)
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  3. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Wendy, you have received some very good advice from Echo. I also have an older (age 28) son who is addicted to heroin. He and his family (wife and two small children) were living with me for the last year and just moved out last week. He also has a history of jail, rehab, relapse, etc.

    One thing that strikes me from your post is that you're doing a lot of work for him researching rehab and such. The fact that he's not interested because of the cell phone speaks poorly for his seriousness of working on the problem. So it looks like you're doing more work than he is, which is backwards. When my son was first arrested for possession of heroin and was in my home for house arrest, I did exhaustive research on various rehab facilities and even printed out a nice binder for him. Guess what? It sat on his shelf untouched. He finally got into rehab after he was arrested and the court ordered it.

    One thing that helped me get over some of the guilt of not helping more was to remember that it's not my fault that he's still in jail (or homeless, or penniless, or whatever), it's actually his fault for making bad choices continuously. Despite many "second" chances, my son still chooses poorly, and the guilt should remain with him. But we mothers love to take on the burdens of the world, don't we? (I certainly include myself in that group!) You're not Superwoman and you're not responsible for your son's life and choices anymore.
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  4. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    I would check local ministries. We have several in Georgia that are sliding scale. They took my daughter's junk car as payment for the first two months and she is working to pay her rent herself now...but everyone is right. This is his problem to solve - not yours...
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Wendy,
    Welcome!! I am so sorry you had to find us but glad you did.
    You do not owe him an explaination, however I would tell him something along the lines of "yes, we paid for his rehab and he relapsed as soon as he got out so clearly it was not a wise choice on our part and we don't care to repeat it"
    Your son is not 3, you can't kiss it and make it better. He is a 33 year old man that has made poor choices. He did this to himself.

    Trust me on this, there is no amount of money you can throw at this that will make it better. Until both of your sons decide for themselves that want to stop using drugs and get help nothing will change for them.

    As for the guilt, you have nothing to feel guilty about. YOU did not do this, he did. Understand that he wants you to feel guilty, he's counting on it. He's hoping that you will feel guilty so that you will "rescue" him.

    I've been there, we all have. You see it's the "MOM" in each one of us that wants to make everything better for our children but we can't do that. They are adults and need to do it for themselves. If we as parents continue to rescue them, bail them out, etc.... all we are doing is enabling them and that does not help them.

    I am so sorry you are going through this but you are not alone.

    Stay close to this site. Read and learn from all of us who have been through it.

    It's not an easy journey but I am proof that you can survive having a Difficult Child (difficult child) and go on to have a happy and full life.

    ((HUGS)) to you.............................
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Wendy

    Your work now, is to honor and care for yourself. Your son is a man.

    Let your son sit with his sense of entitlement until he comes up with a solution or not. He ingests the drugs, not you. You cannot any longer continue to clean up his messes.

    Your son acts like a baby, not as a man, not as a father. He is whining as if his brother got a better present or larger piece of cake than did he.

    Nothing is your fault or responsibility.

    I find it stunning that this almost middle aged father will not go to treatment unless he has a cell phone. With that remark he is showing his true colors and the extent of his motivation.

    Fine. Don't go to treatment, I say.

    It's his life. Let him live it.

    Take care.
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    Last edited: May 8, 2015
  7. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Please try not to feel guilted into paying for rehab-that is NOT mandatory on your part at ALL. You have no guarantees that any of it will stick when he gets out and honestly, if you cannot afford it, it would be VERY foolish to throw out that kind of money.

    Much better to do what you can with your own finances for YOU. Maybe a little vacation or trip to get away from the emotional blackmail he is imposing on you?

    I have spent SO much money on my Difficult Child in the past that it makes my brain hurt to think of it. It was all for nothing-nothing changed and I was simply poorer. I had such blind faith that if I paid for this and that, then the penny would drop and he would see that my paying for therapy or legal fees or attorneys or fines, would give him a clean slate on which to write a new story.

    It didn't happen. Now I do NOT give money or pay for anything-no, that's not true-I DO put money on his jail commissary every now and then, so I don't want to represent myself falsely. But now that he is back in jail after only TEN days of freedom, then why should I fund that poor choice? You shouldn't have to fund your son's poor choices either.

    It has occurred to me many times that even if I ensconced him in a penthouse on the Gold Coast, overlooking Lake Michigan, he would revert back to his old and comfortable ways. He'd probably sublet it or something and keep the rent money to buy booze and drugs, haha.

    Not trying to make this about me-just keep your money and tell him that as you haven't seen any proof that he really does want to change his life, you are not in a position to take a risk which has such a poor return on your investment.
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  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Wendy, and welcome to the forum. We are glad you are here, and we all understand how very hard this is. You have had a huge double whammy in having two sons with serious drug problems, and I am sorry for your agony. I know it has been agonizing and I am sure it still is.

    It strikes me that your son is 33. I have two sons, one is 29 and one is 25 (will be 26 in July). My younger son is the one who has had the serious problems over the past seven years. Today, he is much better and seems to be functioning fairly well. At the moment. I realize it can change at any time.

    Wendy, I did the same thing you are doing for years and years. I made all kinds of lists for him, looked things up on the Internet, made lots of phone calls, even made appointments for him. I was going to "help" him find answers. Except he didn't want any of that.

    He just wanted what he wanted, which was to do it HIS WAY, and all of our conversations went in circles. It was exhausting and it didn't accomplish a thing.

    Wendy, here is what I finally did to help stop that: I would write down what I wanted to say, and what I wanted to say would be very short, similar to some of the things people have suggested you say.

    When we would talk, I would only say and respond from that list, NO MATTER WHAT HE SAID.

    Some of my responses were:


    I'm sorry that happened.

    I'm sure you will figure it out.

    I am sure that is hard (sad, scary, upsetting, _____, _______).

    I love you.

    No matter what he said or came up with (and there would always be some twist or crazy thing he would throw into the conversation)---I just stuck to what I said.

    Yes, we do things differently from one person to another, and that is OUR CHOICE. We choose what we do, they don't. We're sorry about that, and you know what, Wendy, we don't have to explain it.

    We have choices. They have choices.

    Wendy, our guilt and our grief and our frustration and our pain....are our own. Nobody can make us do or feel anything. Now, I know that may be a new thought at this point---it certainly was for me when I started my own journey toward recovery from enabling. In fact, it made me mad when somebody suggested what I just wrote above: That my own feelings are my own responsibility.

    But it's true. In time, as you work, and read, and focus on yourself, and try to heal, you will come to see that our feelings are our feelings, but feelings aren't facts (Al-Anon belief that I didn't like at all at first, and I didn't understand at all, but now I believe it is one of the richest pieces of wisdom I have ever learned), and we have choices, and we can choose a life of suffering over another person's choices or we can choose a better way of living, by unhooking from the choices of other people---even other people we love beyond all measure.

    This is tough stuff to read, I know, and it is tough stuff to do. It requires that we change. And that change takes a long time and a lot of work.

    Please consider this: Get the book Codependent No More by Melody Beattie. Read it over and over again. I still do. It is a real life, straight talk book that hits the nail on the head.

    Start going to Al-Anon or NarAnon or NAMI meetings (National Association of Mentally Ill). All of these are free. There were times during this awful string of years with my son's addiction that I went every single day because I was so miserable.

    Create a time for yourself every single day, whether it's 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour. Write in a journal. Read the information above. Read this forum. Meditate, pray, turn it over to your Higher Power.

    You will start to feel better. You will start to change. You can't do a single thing in the world to change another person. Your two sons will have to walk their own paths, their own journeys, and if they are to change, they will have to figure how that path of change.

    We are here for you. We so understand. We care.
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  9. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    Child just gave you some fabulous tools. During my recovery, sometimes these phrases were all I used with my son. I wrote them down when I came up with new ones. "Oh" is particularly good. I was also found of "that sounds hard, but I am sure you will figure it out." See if you can start using them. Write them down.

    Right. You do not need to explain yourself. That is a trap. I used to think that I had to get him to agree with me before I could proceed on a new path (this is the price of growing up with a narcissistic father and then marrying a narcissist). NEWS FLASH:: that won't happen! Stop trying to get his permission or understanding. We do things differently from one person to another.

    Right. He is making his choices without concern or consultation with you. Why do you need to consult him?


    If all your love and care and money could have fixed him, he would be fixed by now, probably many times over. The thing is...that is not the way of fixing. He has to fix himself. You have to fix yourself. You started when you posted here.

    Hugs again,

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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you ChildofMine
  11. Wendy23

    Wendy23 Member

    Thank you all for your words of wisdom and support. I am going to try all of your advice and work to fix myself. I realize I am sick as they are. I have become so invoved in their problems and lives that i can not separate my happiness from theirs. i have alot of work to do.
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  12. Wendy23

    Wendy23 Member

    I am trying so hard but each day brings more problems. Youngest son (24 yrs old) that is on herion, threatening to kill his self today because I have cut off on money. His car insurance cancelled and he has no money for drugs. Sad thing is, I have no money either. My account is actually overdrawn.
    It is sad, but I have helped and enabled so much that I have hit rock bottom right along with them.
    Not sure why I am posting, I know what to do and have no other choice but to do it. I have told him to get counseling, he needs help that I can not provide. I do not think he is serious, I think he is trying to manuplate me one more time!
  13. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Wendy, I am so sorry and this is very, very hard stuff right now. You are in the trenches. When we start saying No, they push back harder, and the threat of suicide is very common. My son threatened it many times.

    If you know where he is, call the police and send them there to intervene with him.

    In our state, it is illegal to threaten suicide and that is a blessing. I called the police multiple times when my son threatened this. Finally, my son stopped.

    I believe you have to take it seriously every single time, but I never truly believed my son meant to kill himself. I believe his was manipulation.

    That still doesn't mean it isn't very hard, just being present in the face of this.

    In a way, Wendy, it is very good that you CAN't give him money, even if you WANTED to. It is what it is.

    What can you do for yourself today, to get support? some thoughts are:

    1. Keep posting here. We care very much and we understand.
    2. Call a trusted friend.
    3. Find and go to an Al-Anon meeting, Nar-Non meeting, NAMI meeting.
    4. Go online to http://www.al-anon.org/electronic-meetings and find an online al-anon meeting.
    5. Write in a journal or into a computer document exactly what you feel.
    6. Take a nap. Take a walk. Sit quietly and let your feelings flow through you. Cry. Pound a pillow.
    7. Buy some grocery store flowers for your kitchen table.
    8. Pray and meditate.
    9. Go to a yoga class.

    Wendy, I remember being right where you are. It is exhausting. Often, I took a nap and that really helped me. Or I would lie down and read a book.

    We must take care of ourselves, and realize that we are important. We are 51% and they are 49%. We are worthy. We matter. What we want matters. The quality of our lives matter. We only have one life, and this is it. Today. Right now. What do we want it to be?

    Warm hugs, Wendy.
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  14. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Wendy, I hit "like" not because I like your story but because I wanted you to know that you are heard.
    In a way it may be good that you actually have no money to give...it can help you see clearly how enabling them has not helped them and has hurt you. Maybe it will be the catalyst for you to start taking care of yourself.
    We all understand how daunting this transition is. We understand how even in your position you are wondering if there is more you should be doing to "help." We understand your grief and bewilderment and hurt.
    Today is the first day (or in your case maybe yestarday was). Do one good thing for yourself. Sit outside and listen for a bird. Then listen for all the sounds there are...the traffic, the baby crying, the footsteps, the door closing near and far. Let your mind fill with that, sounds, and empty of your sons for a minute. That minute will refresh you.
    Hugs, Wendy. It is always darkest before the dawn.

  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, so many wonderful, wise responses. Wendy, your sons are following the Difficult Child rulebook. Threats of suicide are a very common method that they use to manipulate and guilt us into doing what they want. My Difficult Child used to do it on a regular basis.

    The less you let it bother you the less likely he is to use it. No one can promise you that he won't really kill himself but you need to remember that he can kill himself just as easily by an accidental overdose with the drugs he can buy if you give him the money.

    Just a warning . . . in my state, it is not illegal to threaten to commit suicide. I would call the police and they would come to my house and tell me that there was nothing that they could do if it was just a threat and I was the only person that she said it to. There had to be at least one other witness or she actually had to hurt herself . . . how screwed up is that.

    Therapy really helped me be able to detach from my Difficult Child's chaos and substance abuse. As COM said in an earlier post, I chose to separate my life from hers and her life choices. At this point, I have cut all communication with her until I see a real change in her behavior. Her words mean nothing to me.

    Your son(s) will up the ante the more that you detach. I liken it to training a puppy. There is something called extinction training where the dog will get more and more frantic trying to get you do what it wants until it finally realizes it won't work. It is called an extinction burst. Each time that you give in and reward the bad behavior you have to start the entire cycle over again.

    You are actually helping your sons by not rewarding the bad behavior but they won't see it that way and will try to figure out ways to make you give in. That is where setting boundaries becomes so important. It may take cutting off all contact for a little while or practicing the sayings that COM mentioned.

    It is time for you to let go and start living your own life. Start building up your savings again and don't give them another penny.

    We understand because every one of us have been in your shoes and made the same mistakes. It took years for most of us to get to this point of detachment. Start with baby steps and you will get there, too.

  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Wendy,

    Just checking in to see how you are doing today.

    We're here for you.
  17. Wendy23

    Wendy23 Member

    Thanks for checking on me and for all of your support. Things are about the same here.
    Middle son has made no attempts to get in rehab. He received notice from court yesterday that if he does not, his bond will be revoked. I left a list of free rehabs on coffee table with numbers for him to call. I am trying my best to let it go from here. I know it is up to him. He has a decision to make jail or rehab. It would be an easy decision for me, however I am trying to accept the fact that he does not choose the same paths I choose and to accept the fact that it his is choice.

    Middle son who is herion addict is doing exactly what you said and uping the ante with threats of sucide, etc. The more boundaries I set; the worst it seems to get.

    Please keep sharing and I really appreciate the support I am receiving here. My friends and other family can not even begin to comprehend what it is like having two adult children that are addicts.
    Here it is understood!
  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Wendy, thanks for the update.

    You are doing all you can. I know how hard it is to let go of it all but hang in there. Yes, it is his choice and that is where you need to leave it.

    As for the your other son, I am so sorry he is amping up the threats but very typical behavior.

    I hope you take some time to re-read through this thread as there are some great words of advice. Also, if you have not already try and attend an al-anon meeting. We are always here for you but having some local support will serve you well.

    Hang in there Wendy, you can do this!!

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  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I usually have learned that saying less is more. To a crazy comment like a suicide threat coming from a heroin addict I probably would stop the silence and say, very calmly, "Every single day of your life that you are on heroin you may be committing suicide. What you said is no different than what you are doing." Then I'd walk away.

    Heroin is NOT pot.
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  20. Wendy23

    Wendy23 Member

    Thank you Somewhere out there for that suggested respond. It is so very true!