Just feeling weak about the collateral damage

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Sam3, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    It has been hard

    — to talk to my husband who needs time and distance

    — to realize more than one of my friends and family have not mentioned my eldest son, at all, as if they know

    — to know my middle son is in a simple, understandable, f him mindset

    — to get normal teenage blowback from my other two, but not have the strength not to take it personally

    — to receive a text from Difficult Child, meant for someone else, asking for some slang word, that I assume must be drug related or deviant in some way

    I am worn out and sad
     
  2. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    I hear you. I feel your pain. Its just hard isn't it? Did any of us ask for this, do we not just want to live a life of love and happiness? You are not alone. Hang in there. Hugs xx
     
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  3. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Sam
    I am in the same boat and I only have 1 child. Please be kind to yourself. Do one nice non mom thing for yourself today.

    I am sending you a huge hug! I wish we could have a coffee together.
    :grouphug:
     
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  4. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Sam.
    The "elephant in the room" has been so difficult for us.
    We don't talk in the evening because I then start crying, worrying (worse) and can't sleep again.
    We don't talk in the am because he's leaving for work and I don't want to ruin his day.
    It's strange that in some aspect it's the same as we didn't talk to son because there was never a good time that he wouldn't become defensive, explosive, angry.
    As stated, no answers here. Al anon and therapy helped but we had to force ourselves at first, as we're not really joiners and don't dump our dirty laundry just anywhere. Sharing here and reading pertinent stories with my hubs helped greatly.
    Try to focus on your other kids and hang on to that text which simply confirms you are doing the right thing.
    Life can get back to "closer to normal" in time, I promise.
     
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  5. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Thank you everyone

    As time goes on, I realize it is how my H has been since the traumatic night our son visited on us, that is the hardest change.

    Its not because I am alone now in handling my sons logistics. That I was willing to assume because my H was handling many things and was traumatized after having to restrain my son and listen to his vicious hatred until the police arrived.

    it’s because H just doesn’t inquire about our son anymore. Or for that matter about my emotional well-being In dealing with our son, I think because then he would know about him, and doesn’t want to.

    It’s lonely. I feel like he’s not our son now, but my problem. My son is struggling to find the courage to make amends with his father and siblings. And I’m getting resentful that my H is not struggling to restore some connection, even if it is just to express anger or pain at the situation.

    Any input appreciated
     
  6. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Sam I feel for you. My H is an Ostrich many times I have felt your frustration. I have over tine had to learn how to manage and understand that my H and how he reacts and heals is very different from me.

    We have developed a way of communicating that pulls my husband back to support me most times. He still seems to have two modes with our AS. Overly loving or completely ignoring.

    It not easy. Will your husband got to counseling with you to try to improve coping skills for the both of you?
     
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry Sam, your post expresses your sadness and loneliness......and how you are stuck in the middle as your son's (at this point anyway) only advocate. I want to acknowledge what a crummy place that is......I've been there for a good part of my daughter's journey, her only advocate.....everyone else has mostly bailed from her life. I understand the loneliness and the sadness. It hurts.

    It sounds as if your husband is dealing with his own grief and anger as a result of the trauma of that night by perhaps shutting down so he can deal with the rest of his life....not the same path you've taken. Do you have a therapist the two of you can talk to? If not, that may be an option for you to consider. I think when families are confronted with this level of trauma, getting everyone on the same page is not at all easy.

    Have you shared the depth of your feelings with your husband? I have found with my husband, even though It's a vulnerable stance, to tell him the bottom line of what my emotional needs are.....not the whole story of it, not the processing of it, but the simple, "I'm feeling sad, alone and out there all by myself, I need help, I need your commitment to be present with me as we deal with this. I miss you. I'm scared." Or whatever your words would be. It can be difficult to communicate when resentments have entered the picture, certainly understandable resentments, but they can make communication challenging.......it's a lot easier to be heard when our expression isn't peppered with judgement/criticism. For me, I try to get to the "nut" of what I really feel and then express that from my heart. That's the point at which I feel heard and a real connection is made.....communication is an art form in my opinion, it takes practice and a commitment from both parties to listen, to be present, to state our feelings with love and respect. It isn't easy either, in fact it can be quite difficult.

    Anyway, just my thoughts....you're in a yucky situation.....I'm so sorry, I know how you feel.
     
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  8. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Thank you

    Both of you mentioned the communication component and yes sticking to feelings has always worked best. My H defaults to defensive

    I’ve been challenged by my resentment, just like you said, RE. The loneliness isn’t the source. I think it’s because I was better prepared for how ugly this can get— I had a raging alcoholic brother, but just as importantly, I’ve been to Alanon and parent meetings and here, reminding myself constantly. When i tried to share that to give context to whatever fresh new low was happening, he said it wasn’t helpful.

    But now he’s wounded in a way that’s more personal than intended, by these DCs.

    I was feeling like he wasn’t acting as the adult in the room. But it’s actually that he wasn’t acting with the education he needed.

    And I’m hurting for my son and for me. It may feel to my son that he completed that subconscious circle DCs sometimes have— to bring about the exact abandonment they fear, or loathing in someone else that they actually have for themselves.

    And for me. My H and I have been an unwaivering team on this through the years. But he hasn’t been doing the training and was not prepared for the games to get harder.
     
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I understand your predicament Sam. It took my husband a long time to learn about mental illness and learn compassion as opposed to judging. I grew up with it, I've been surrounded by it my whole life, he hasn't, he had no clue. I've learned so much over the years, I've educated myself, forgiven, learned compassion......but I had to learn to let the expectations that others know/understand/feel empathy, etc. go. Sigh. It's tough being the guy in the middle.

    Yes, very insightful Sam. I see that with my daughter too. She continues to experience abandonment as she won't get help to heal the wounds......it's hard to watch that and be powerless to change it.

    Very perceptive. I think men process these kinds of events very differently than we do. Often we gather information, look for guidance and support......however, they often don't go that route.

    I was recently having a discussion with my husband about physical altercations with fathers and sons. He has 2 grown sons and never had that kind of altercation, but friends of his have..... in our discussion, what I heard is that those physical altercations are very difficult for men to reconcile. He said, " a line is crossed." We, as women, may not understand that line or what happens when it's crossed...my husband said something like that will take time to get thru. It was heavier than I would have thought.

    We as women may not really understand the dynamic that happens once an altercation of that nature takes place between a father and a son. It may take your husband time to work his way thru it. And, he may not be able to discuss it quite yet.

    In the meantime, I hope you can find ways to nourish yourself.....you've all been thru a trauma.....
     
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    tried to respond on train. lost post.have a few commitments after which i will post.

    i resonate with almost all you say.

    you are not alone.
     
  11. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Thanks for sharing that important insight. That makes me sad for them. Men.
     
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  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    i am in a similar position.

    with a man who is not my son's father. complicated by his not speaking english--we speak spanish which is not our mother tongue.

    m wants to take responsibility but feels he has no authority.

    there have been physical altercations. and police. the last, years ago.

    i am in the middle.

    my son is indifferent to the costs to me.

    m worries for me and for my son. he sees the only way to deal with my son is absolute vigilance. living in our house. he knows this will finish me off.

    my son has been here 3 weeks. using marijuana going thru the theater of n.a. meetings which are "closed." getting new lists. basically shuffling papers and walking around.

    he did "apparently" enroll in an outpatient clinic which is starting today. he says.

    m stormed out of the house to avoid getting more mad.

    i feel i have lost my life. a life i was struggling to get back.

    everything with my son is dissembling and manipulation. he says he does this to protect his interests. i.e. to have a place to live.

    i can see how stupid we are to continue to make conditions. it empowers him to defy them.

    i feel very alone too. i also feel that with my son here i am losing focus on myself. i start to feel i want to die. when he is the center of gravity.

    i just wanted to tell you sam that this feels impossibly hard because it is impossible.

    i think your husband and you need a safe zone that son does not dominate. not worries about him. not conflict.

    that is what i think h is saying indirectly and middle son too. i think i need it too.

    to let go, is not to no longer care.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  13. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Oh how well put Copa. The struggles we gave and the dynamic or places us in. It is beyond Mental exhaustion. And to our addicted children it is just another day.

    Sam my heart is with you. I don’t know the answer to your predicament and I know like Copa I have faced this myself with my husband in the past. We took a year break and are now back together under one roof. It takes such a toll. And again to our addicted children is just well Tuesday....or any other day.
     
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  14. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Something shifted back in my H on Thanksgiving.

    I think it was precipitated by our younger son’s stance on his brother. He had decided to cut him off. And refused to join dinner if his brother showed up.

    While my H was not surprised, I think it was humbling to see that our younger would need to learn about addiction — to reconcile his brother’s presence in our lives. While validating younger’s pain and anger, ultimately, my H had to engage his own empathy for our Difficult Child, for younger to understand that this type of damage is endemic to addiction. That we could hate the addiction, yet still love the brother and son.

    Difficult Child came to dinner and younger was frosty but present, longer than he agreed to be. Long after Difficult Child left, younger wanted to talk about it again. As if to justify the thawing he was already experiencing, but was afraid to let happen.

    After dinner, My H took Difficult Child aside privately and spoke with him for the first time in several weeks. My H gave him the platform to discuss the night of horror, to let him say what he has been paralyzed from saying because no explanations or apologies could seem satisfactory.

    My H finally opened the door for healing with and for both our sons on Thanksgiving. He let the father in him re-emerge, from the ashes of this trauma.

    And by sharing that with me, he also began the process of healing us.

    I have such respect and admiration for my H.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was so happy to read this post Sam. The healing has begun.

    I have such respect and admiration for both you and your husband......you've both shown remarkable resilience, courage, strength and love in an impossibly difficult situation.
     
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  16. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    What a hopeful post, Sam3. Addiction is such an ugly thing, and it scars every member of the family. How wonderful that your H could see the toll on both of your sons, and on you, and to reach across the chasm like that.
     
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  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    in my post yesterday i advocated for something like a safe space for you and H apart from your son.

    and i see now how as parents and family in the best possible sense you and yours cannot and ought not cut off a part. even in the sense of haven.

    you and your family, sam, are modelng to us what family is and can be. your voice here is exemplary and undaunting.

    thank you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  18. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    So good to hear! Tearing up just reading this. Sam the Ahes if the Trauma, so well put. It is not a dent or a scrape but indeed a 4 alarm fire. I do hope this has a positive impact of DS and that he finds a way to turn himself around. My son has been opening up a bit his drug use and what he tells me about Xanax trips and post trip psychosis is truly scary. It is one ugly drug, bit that they all aren’t ugly.

    Again I am so happy for you, your H and your family.
     
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  19. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Thank you Albie, RE, LBl, Copa, for your affirmations, and for bridging me with support and advice when I was feeling very alone.

    I actually talked to my H about the physical altercation phenomenon, you mentioned, RE, and he seemed relieved to hear it. He said it was such a primitive thing, and seemed to affect him on a cellular level. He's not a fighter so didn't really have a reference point, but I said it must be especially so, given that one of our other most primitive instincts is to protect the lives of our children. To have to resort to wrestling and physical restraint to protect our child from himself . . .

    Anyway, today was a typical day filled with logistics. But it's good to know my H and I are both invested, in the decisions that lie ahead.

    Thank you again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  20. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    This reminded me of something.

    When my son was in inpatient, there was a therapeutic farm experience for the whole family. We were allowed to feed different species of animals all in one pen. Llama, pig, rooster, etc... with the thought that we would identify with their very different personalities.

    But I think it was as much to think about our child's spirit animal.

    I felt like my son was the rooster, in relation to me at least. Very very cautious in accepting any corn. Best to leave it on the ground and step back.

    It feels like some kids will never develop the trust to sit in our laps, and eat from our hands, regardless of how much corn we have or how carefully we approach.

    Maybe the best we can hope for is that they'll follow the trail to less dangerous places. And know the source is always there.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017