Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ChandraC, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. ChandraC

    ChandraC New Member

    I am lost in a whirlwind of Caicos and turmoil. I am tired of being lied to by my 23 year old son that still lives at home. I do charge him rent though there are months he says he can't afford it. He just got out of 18 day Rehab for cocaine last Friday and last night after nagging him to admit it. He again did cocaine. I have asked him to move out but I am dealing with really bad guilt feelings. I have been dealing with his older brother (who lives on his own) and him for over 5 years. Doesn't seem to matter if they hurt me or not and I don't understand why. They have another brother that have a baby girl in November 2013 and have been told to stay away from his family. They still choose this live style of no where ! Any help or guidance would be great. Just don't know what to do anymore I'm tired!!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I'm sorry that you had to come here to tell us this, but we try to be helpful and supportive. Have a few questions.

    1. Do you go to or have you gone to twelve step meetings? Many of us find this invaluable as a tool for helping us deal with our dysfunctional loved ones...and, yes, to understand the disease of drug addiction and how it makes people become very selfish and even dangerous. It teaches us how to detach and to have good lives in spite of our troubled loved ones.

    2. Why do you feel guilty? Did you force your son to take the cocaine at gunpoint? My guess is he made the decision to do it himself. Whatever happened in his early life, and our kids LOVE to make their problems all about us, he does not have to take drugs. It has nothing to do with you and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. In fact, I wouldn't even listen to him if he tries to guilt you. So...what is there to feel guilty about? That's one negative emotion you really don't need and it isn't useful for realistic...

    3. Why do you let your drug abusing son live with you, even though this is effecting both your mental health and probably your physical health too. Do you know that YOU matter? Do you know that YOU matter as much as they do?

    4. Do you have trouble setting boundaries?

    5. Do you neglect your son who has a family while you overly obsess, trying to fix your drug using sons? Do you realize that there is nothing you can do to change anyone but yourself, no matter how sick you make yourself over your drug using sons? Do you know that they will not stop using drugs until they want to and that nagging is stressful to you and ineffective?

    You are way too hard on yourself. When our kids are ten years old, yes, maybe if they run off and get hit by a car we can feel guilty because it is our responsibility to care of their well being when they are so young. When our adult children mess up, there is nothing we can do to stop them. For one thing, legally our hands are tied. For another, it doesn't do any good. Their decisions, just like your decisions, belong ONLY to the adult who has made that decision. You can't cause somebody else to do something to themselves. And you didn't. I don't care if you were divorced twice or you once spanked your child or he had learning disabilities or depression or if somebody in his family was an alcoholic. It was your son's DECISION to choose this pathway. Many kids grow up with problems and challenges and not all of them choose to pout and ruin their lives because of what happened to them when they were six years old. Even if your son is mentally ill, it is HIS decision to get treatment and to follow that treatment. You can't force him to do anything anymore.

    I have one daughter who abused drugs (cociane, meth, even tried heroin) and she did quit, but it was 100% her decision to quit. While living at home, she was on parole twice, refused rehab, sassed her therapists, got nothing at all out of a two week psychiatric hospital stay (in fact talked them into believing she was not using drugs) probably find this familiar. If this were me (and I realize I am NOT you), I would make this son leave the house (give him a month or so) and cut off any money supply he gets from you. He will use the money for drugs. Our kids do learn how to find their way around the streets and live there, but provide him with lists of homeless shelters along with the phone number of social services so he can apply for things like food stamps and social security, if he qualifies. There is no reason for him to quit using drugs if he has a warm cozy house and bed and plenty to eat and no reason to really work.

    I also have a child who has some sort of various mental health issues and he is NOT very nice most of the time. I have had to learn to detach from him and to deal with him only as much as I personally can handle and I have set boundaries on him, although he is constantly saying he will kill himself, which is a blow to hear even though I've heard it already a hundred times. It still rattles me. I tell myself though that he lives two states away and even if he lived next door (he could never live with me again), I could not stop him if he truly wanted to kill himself. There would be nothing I could do to stop him unless he called to tell me he has taken a bottle of pills. Then I can call 911. It is ALL I can do.

    I am so sorry you are walking this very scary path. We did not expect our children to turn out this way when we held them as infants and they were so cute. But we need to deal in reality and get that cute little cherub out of our head and face today's facts...they are who they are and we can't change them and there is no reason for us to feel guilt over their adult choices. You probably would benefit from twelve step or private therapy for yourself. You need to fall in love with YOU again and start to treat yourself nicely and hang around those who respect you and treat you well and do things you love to do but maybe neglected while you tried to fix your sons. If you have a SO this is an excellent time to reconnect and put some zest and zing into your relationship :) You are NOT your children and they are not you. You can feel their pain, but you need to know how to put it aside too so that you can have a good life. You asked what to do. There is NOTHING you can do that you probably already haven't tried. I would stop trying. Go relatively silent about his drug use. Nagging him will do nothing and may make him dig in his heels and rebel and do it more, like a child. Many of our young adults seriously need to grow up and we have to help them do that by ignoring their childish behaviors and letting them make their own mistakes and HOPEFULLY learn from them.

    Disclaimer: Anything I write is my own opinion and not meant to tell you what you HAVE to do. Take what you like, if anything, and leave the rest.

    I hope you have some peace and serenity in your day. Maybe plan to do something nice for yourself, even if it's just a fragrant bubblebath with scented candles all around you :) Glad to "meet" you.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Chandra one thing to remember is that they are not doing it to hurt you, they are addicts and they are doing it because it's the only way they can feel good in their skin. I have been to so many meetings with addicts and their families and when they get clean/sober they all say what they are most sorry for is the way they hurt their parents and loved ones. Remember the three C's. you didn't cause it, you can't control it and you can't cure it.

    As mwm says it's so important to find a support group, it won't help immediately but as time goes on you will be amazed at how the guilt lessens and how you are able to find peace and joy in your life again.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Chandra, welcome to the CD board. Many of us here have been (or are) where you are now. Your son has no reason to want to change. He has a roof over his head and food to eat and can use drugs. Why change?

    It is time for him to be on his own. I know how hard it is to do that. My daughter relapsed recently and we have cut off all contact and financial support. She is in another state and has no job, no food, and will soon be homeless. She also had her car booted and couldn't afford to pay and it has now been impounded. She actually had the company that booted her car call us and theyleft a message that they had been told that we would pay the fee to have the boot removed. My husband didn't even bother to call them back. It is not our car and we did not park it somewhere illegally so why should we have to pay to fix it. It is something we would have done in the past, though.

    This is the first time we have ever let her full the full impact of her addiction. We will not rescue her anymore.

    Hopefully, it will be her "bottom" and she will not want to live like this. If not, we have done what we could and have to take care of us now.

    Stay strong and post often. I think you will find incredible support and understanding her. I also have found having a therapist to work with on setting boundaries to be very helpful.

    My husband and I went to our first Families Anonymous meeting last night and really liked it. We had tried different Al-Anon groups in the past and didn't care for them. The FA group was all parents of alcoholic/addicts in their twenties so we could really relate to them and their stories.

    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  5. ChandraC

    ChandraC New Member

    I will try and answer your questions Midwestmom, first no I have never reached out before this. I have covered for them, hid things from other family members for them and helped out financially when they both needed it. It crazy because we are in Alberta and they are both welders, they make three times the money my husband and I make!!

    I guess I feel guilty because I am not with either of their fathers I feel I have let them down in some ways. My two oldest boys are from my first husband I left him when they were 3 and 1. My third son is from a man I lived with for 13 years and was very abusive to me. At the time I used to tell myself that my sons were not being affected by this bit I was so wrong. My oldest was 16 when I left that relationship and I leaned on him for support, which I never should have. For that he had to grow up way to fast. These are some of the reasons of guilt!

    I kicked him out in June 2009 and moved him back in October 2009! In the 5 months he was on his own he was arrested several times for stealing food, he had his teeth all punched out (I still don't think I know the truth behind this) and was not working. So I took him back helped get all his charges paid off, helped get him a job in the oil patch and had his teeth replaced with false ones. It is truly the hardest thing in the world to see my sons fail. I have helped my oldest out in ways that I have not even told my husband. It's hard to let go.

    I have never neglected the son that is doing well, he and his family are my guiding light through all of this. He is at the point where he has told both of his brothers to stay away from his family no calls nothing! He is always telling me to kick my son out and to block the other but detaching is something I just can't seem to do. I feel it's like giving up on them! They have good hearts and are good sons when not high.

    So I am reaching out now to talk and hope to get strength through other parents that are going through similar things.

  6. Terryforvols

    Terryforvols Member

    Welcome!! Pls take the advice of the wise parents on this board. I have been gone for awhile but due to new difficult child issues am back. My advice is similar, and gained the hard way. Its terribly hard, but you have to let go to save yourself, financially, physically, and emotionally. He is the only one who can save himself. He will suck any life you have left out of you and take your $$. Their stories are so "sad" but husband and I finally realized that difficult child wld be happy if we worked ourselves to the bone and just gave her ALL our $$$. The drugs and/or their mental problems take over and they are no longer that precious child. Let go or be dragged along!! Continue to come here and look for support in your area!

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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You aren't giving up on them. There is nothing you can do. They are t he ones doing this to themselves. Giving them money, comfort and a warm meal won't help them.

    It's tough that the boys had to deal with no dad and then an abusive husband, but many kids live through that and don't take drugs or abuse YOU (sounds like they are) and you are not a part of their bad behavior. They are adults now and are in control of their own lives. Apparently they want you to get them out of trouble, yet they are still going to keep breaking the law. You are giving up on them if you keep treating them like little children who can't do anything themselves. Maybe they aren't doing what they should be doing, but they can.

    I agree with your son who has good sense. I wouldn't want too drugged up brothers hanging around my kids either and I'd be pretty disgusted if my siblings acted like that and took advantage of my mom. This is just my own opinion, and you don't have to share it in any way, but I think you should handle things more like your stable son is doing it. I do think it would help you tremendously if you went to a twelve step group where other parents have gone through or are going through the same exact stuff.

    I suggest a book you may like to read that helped me a lot (and many of us). It's called "Codependent No More" by Melody Beatty. She has many good books about codependency, which is what most of us started out as...overly enmeshed in our dysfunctional children's lives, always thinking that WE had to fix it, not even realizing that we CAN'T fix it. The first time I read that book, it was a revelation to me. I was so busy trying to take care of and please everyone in my life that I had no life. The concept that I should ever put my own needs first was foreign to me. I didn't understand it. But I'm really glad I followed through and joined a Codapendency group and went to therapy specifically for those issues. I could finally stop feeling that I could make everything all right with everyone else if only I suffered enough myself. I felt that if any of my loved ones were suffering, then it was unfair or wrong or just immoral of me to have a good time. And I had depression problems without the extra drama so I would start to feel dangerously suicidal, all the while making sure I didn't miss one need any of my loved ones needed.

    Looking back, I am so far from being that person that it boggles my mind that she was ever me, but that's where I started out. I'm glad I got out of it because it was destroying me and not helping anyone else.