Kicked my 23 yr. old son out - was I wrong?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SeaGenieTx, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. SeaGenieTx

    SeaGenieTx Active Member

    I really need some support so any advice is great appreciated. My only son just turned 23. His father died when he was 2 months old, I have raised him alone (without any help or support). My parents and two older brothers have passed, I am completely alone with no surviving immediate family.

    I'm a survivor, have always worked full-time and gave my son everything. We had a great life together until after he graduated high school. It all went downhill it seems from 2011 forward.

    My son always struggled in school, was diagnosed ADD, dyslexic, etc. He was a super happy and outgoing little boy, always funny and friendly. Teachers always said his attention span was zero but he was a good kid.

    Once he graduated high school he floundered around and since then has ended up being arrested 3 times for pot (misdemeanor charges). I bailed him out each time. He did probation, county service, went to drug classes, etc. I gave him my used Honda civic, he wrecked it last year and has not had a car since, worked for two months and got fired, stays out until 3-4am with friends, sleeps until noon, leaves again right after I get home from work, etc.

    His attitude has become horrible towards me. He had a girlfriend but she broke up with him after a year because he was verbally abusive towards her. I got into a big argument with him about how he treated her and how disrespectful he has become towards me. Told him all he does is get high, stay out all night, refuses to help me with chores, I can't take him coming home at 3-4am on weeknights waking me up when I have to work.

    We got into a shouting match and I basically told him to pack a suitcase and leave. He has met this girl who is 25 who has an apt. and car and she is taking care of him (enabling him). She worked with him at his last job and she got fired along with him. He has mentioned she does hard drugs (pills).

    Since he left several days ago I have not heard from him. When he left he said "Thanks for giving up on me". I told him "Nice try - guilt trip won't work with me, you've made your choices and have no motivation to get on with your life, I can't live this way".

    I just need support - he has become a totally different person and is addicted to smoking pot. He thinks I should be glad that's all he does but I know he drinks and has done Molly and who knows what else.

    I need to add that he was also in a serious car accident with his friend who was driving. They were at a red light and someone smashed into the back of them. This was 2 months ago. He called me and I came to the rescue, drove him to the emergency room with his head gushing blood. Ended up just being a gash that was stitched up but my nerves are fried from getting these repeat 2 am calls from him that he is going to jail or has been in an accident.

    My car died on the freeway a week ago and I called him to see if he and his friend could come help. He was too busy. So on a Saturday night stranded on the side of the freeway I had to call a tow truck and deal with it alone.

    I'm so disappointed in my son and feel horrible kicking him out but Ive gotten to the point I cant deal with his disrespect and attitude anymore. His room is a pig stye, he refuses to learn how to do his own laundry, never offers to help and treats me like I'm stupid and don't know anything. I gave my life for him for the last 23 years and this is what I get in return. I hope I'm doing the tough love thing correctly. It hurts me while Im sure he is out partying nonstop and could care less.

    Should I change the locks? I think he might sneak back in during the day while I am at work. I have to stick to my guns and let him know I'm serious. My problem is - I'm worried this is doing more harm than good. Help!
  2. Sherril2000

    Sherril2000 Active Member

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. Your son's behavior sounds very similar to mine, his whole demeanor changes when he smokes pot. I believe you were very right to put him out. I know it's hard, we want the best for our children. Our minds know not enabling is the best help we can give, but our hearts break still. I'm new to this, so I'm not the best person to give advice. But I'm trying hard to stay strong by not enabling, & I think you should too. That's always my worry, too, by not helping am I doing more harm than good? After what I've gone through lately, though, & after reading good advice from those who have been through this I really believe consistently not enabling is the only thing that will help.
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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    :welcomecat:Welcome SeaGenie,

    In my opinion you did the only thing left that you could do. Your son is 23 years old and should be taking care of himself. Better that you get him out of your house now than allowing this to continue on as it would only get worse and be even harder.

    You handled this perfectly. Good for you that you can see he's trying to manipulate you into feeling guilty.

    The fact that he was too busy to come help you when your car broke down is very typical behavior of our difficult adult children. They can be so selfish.

    It's not so much as you "kicked" him out of your home, he simply overstayed his welcome.

    I'm glad you found this forum, you will find great support and advice here.

    ((HUGS)) to you......
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  4. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the club you never wanted to be a part of SeaGenie. I am glad you found this site but sorry for the reasons that brought you here.
    Definitely change the locks - you have a human right to feel both safe in your home and to know that your belongings are safe from theft when you are not at home.
    Awaken yourself to the fact that Domestic Violence applies not only to partner/spouse abuse but you can be victimized from your adult child as well. Feel free to contact your Domestic violence center for additional support and counseling offline as they accept victims from any domestic life situation.

    The terrible things are children say to us are a way to guilt or manipulate us into what they want us to do for them. It is called gas-lighting. Here is an explanation I previously posted:

    Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the abuser manipulates situations repeatedly to trick the victim into distrusting his or her own memory and perceptions. Gaslighting is an insidious form of abuse. It makes victims question the very instincts that they have counted on their whole lives, making them unsure of anything. Gaslighting makes it very likely that victims will believe whatever their abusers tell them regardless as to their own experience of the situation. Gaslighting often precedes other types of emotional and physical abuse because the victim of gaslighting is more likely to remain in other abusive situations as well.
    The term "gaslighting" comes from the 1938 British play "Gas Light" wherein a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy using a variety of tricks causing her to question her own perceptions and sanity. Gas Light was made into a movie both in 1940 and 1944.'

    Gaslighting Techniques and Examples
    There are numerous gaslighting techniques which can make gaslighting more difficult to identify. Gaslighting techniques are used to hide truths that the abuser doesn't want the victim to realize. Gaslighting abuse can be perpetrated by either women or men.

    "Withholding" is one gaslighting technique where the abuser feigns a lack of understanding, refuses to listen and declines sharing his emotions. Gaslighting examples of this would be:
    "I'm not listening to that crap again tonight."
    • "You're just trying to confuse me."
    Another gaslighting technique is "countering," where an abuser will vehemently call into question a victim's memory in spite of the victim having remembered things correctly.
    • "Think about when you didn't remember things correctly last time."
    • "You thought that last time and you were wrong."
    These techniques throw the victim off the intended subject matter and make them question their own motivations and perceptions rather than the issue at hand.

    It is then that the abuser will start to question the experiences, thoughts and opinions more globally through statements said in anger like:
    • "You see everything in the most negative way."
    • "Well you obviously never believed in me then."
    • "You have an overactive imagination."
    "Blocking" and "diverting" are gaslighting techniques whereby the abuser again changes the conversation from the subject matter to questioning the victim's thoughts and controlling the conversation. Gaslighting examples of this include:
    • "I'm not going through that again."
    • "Where did you get a crazy idea like that?"
    • "Quit :censored2:ing."
    • "You're hurting me on purpose."
    "Trivializing" is another way of gaslighting. It involves making the victim believe his or her thoughts or needs aren't important, such as:
    • "You're going to let something like that come between us?"
    Abusive "forgetting" and "denial" can also be forms of gaslighting. In this technique, the abuser pretends to forget things that have really occurred; the abuser may also deny things like promises that have been made that are important to the victim. An abuser might say,
    • "What are you talking about?"
    • "I don't have to take this."
    • "You're making that up."
    Some gaslighters will then mock the victim for their "wrongdoings" and "misconceptions."

    Read more:

    Also there is a post about detachment here:

    Please keep posting. Others will be along to support you in your efforts to pull your own life together and help you to understand that it is not "what is wrong with you" but that there are some serious problem with your son.
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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If this 25 year old woman is taking hard drugs, so is he. Or he soon will be and wants to. Like hangs with like. Often we want to believe our darlings are only smoking pot because we grew up with it and don't think it's serious. Usually, if we are here on this forum and if our kids are refusing to work, abusive to us, violent or have personality changes that are pretty drastic they are doing more intensive drugs, such as various types of speed or downers or both or opiates. This is what changes them. You can almost always tell what they are doing by the company they keep. When my Daughter was doing hard drugs, nobody who wasn't even wanted to be near her. She didn't care. She was Queen of the Druggies. But when she quit, she found she had to give up all of her (cough, cough) "friends" as misery loves company and they forced her sometimes with threats and even physically to get them drugs and keep using. She left the state to live with a relative where she stopped looking for drug users and quit.

    Potheads are spacy and unmotivated, not usually nasty or violent and disrespectful.

    Your son should not be driving. My daughter was in three car accidents while doing drugs. Even after we took her car use away, she found idiot "friends" who let her drive their cars. She owed one lady $15,000 from one accident and continued to owe it even after she was clean. Her father finally paid the lady off when he believed she had truly quit (it was obvious by her lifestyle and her new sense of responsibility and work ethic). If she hadn't quit, she'd still owe it and probably never pay it and maybe have ended up in jail. As it is, it's a miracle she never did go to jail. SHe was on parole twice.

    You did the right thing, in my opinion, to make your son, who is now a grown man, leave. It doesn't matter if he has dyslexia, bipolar, schizophrenia or anything else. If he is disrespectful to you in your house, refuses to get any treatment, breaks the law in your supposed safe haven, and makes you miserable under your own roof it is, in my opinion, time to cut the cord.

    Trust me, he'll be back. Sadly, but predictably they do call us eventually, usually when they are in serious trouble and need us to rescue them with money, bail, etc. They never call just to find out how we are doing. We are their ATM and their "mommy." We rescue them...until we stop.

    A 23 year old doesn't need a mommy. At his age you and him should have an adult-to-adult relationship and you should not have to support him. He is old enough to serve our country, drink, get a job, go back to school, cut out the illegal drugs, and do it all himself. Instead he found an older woman who is no good, by the way, and wants HER to take care of him. I'm sure she will attach a price to her "kindness" and that is when you will hear from him again.

    I am so sorry you are going through this nightmare, but we are always here, 24/7, 365 days a year and you can always find somebody who will "talk" to you over the hard stuff. Many of us have been through it and are alive and happy and living good lives as we learned how to take care of ourselves and love ourselves and refuse to accept abuse from anybody, even our grown children. You can be one of the happy people too. It's time to enjoy your life, spend quality time with your loved ones who appreciate your kind heart and give your pleasure, do those hobbies you've neglected, take that vacation you've put off because "what if Junior needs to be rescued?" and have do all those things you've wanted to do but put on hold for parenting reasons. You do not have to be this man's mommy anymore. It is kind and compassionate to let him grow up and write his own story without your interference and rescuing. Hey...let's face it. We won't be around forever and they had better learn to live their lives without us.

    Huggles to you and your hurting heart. I hope you can find something peaceful about today. Have you ever gone to an Al-Anon meeting? That saved me when my daughter was doing drugs. Literally. The help, the camaraderie and just not being alone. There are support groups for people like us. You deserve to treat yourself to one and learn how to cope and even enjoy your life even if you have a struggling man as your child.

    Oh, yeah. YES, change all your locks. If he tries to break in, call the cops and get a restraining order. You don't want him to hurt you or anyone else who lives there. I also suggest going low contact with not answer the phone if he calls unless you are in the mood to be strong against his guilt and persuasive skills and if he gets disrespectful to you over that phone or while texting, gently hang up and don't look at the phone again for a day. If necessary, put it in a drawer. Yes, I've done :)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  6. SeaGenieTx

    SeaGenieTx Active Member

    Thank you to everyone who responded - wow, I am so glad I found this forum and have a place to come get support and talk about this. While others talk about their kids graduating college and going on to great things and how they are so proud.... Im secretly dying inside.

    I think I've been pretty good cutting him off. Since he has no car, I removed him off my car insurance, and severed ties to his bank account (so I won't transfer money to him anymore). His cell phone has been disconnected (he can still make calls and get ahold of me by Facebook) and his bank account and credit cards are overdrawn. Not my problem.

    He can only mooch off other people for so long and it's going to get old. He has NO money so I have no idea how he is eating or what - I guess this girl he is with is helping him or he's just stupid enough to starve or eat handouts. I'm tired of worrying.

    I love the article on detachment and the term "gaslighting". Boy did that open my eyes. My son has been a master at that - trying to make me feel crazy by playing mind games. The hardest thing for me is I have no family support at all. I need to join a church or like suggested, attend some Al-Anon meetings. I forgot to mention that one of my brothers who passed two years ago was an alcoholic. He lost his job and ended up homeless because of his addiction and delusions of thinking others would save him and enable him. He was found dead behind a dumpster from alcoholic poisoning (drank himself to death).

    My son has addiction tendencies and whatever he has been doing lately it's taking him down a dark path. I can only hope he doesn't end up dead or in jail again. If he goes to jail I have already told him not to call me. He will have to serve time - I bailed him out three times, never again. I'm done. I am glad he is out of the house as its been a very peaceful weekend.

    I don't have access to his instagram but I can see he is still alive as he is posting pictures (I watch his posts numbers go up). That is the only way I can tell he is alive and not in jail. If he is posting pics he has access to someones wifi and he is ok. I can watch his Facebook too but he never posts much on it.

    I can't thank all of you enough for your kind and helpful replies. Its a huge relief having this forum to come to and vent and seek support. THANK YOU!
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  7. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Wow, I could "quote" 90% of this string. All good stuff. All hits close to home. I changed the locks on my son and he still managed to get in. When he broke in the last time (using a stick through the doggie door to push the patio slide lock open...aren't they resourceful?) and stole his sisters ATM card, I called the police enough already. He was arrested for residential burglary and the felony is still there with him. Thought that would turn him around. Well, that was about 7-8 yrs ago and the roller coaster ride continues. When he recently got out of 6 months in prison I let him come home. That only lasted 3 weeks. Since he's been gone, I Know he got into the house (that's on another posting) but I don't want to change the locks again knowing he'll get in if he really wants to. I'm installing a video camera that is motion activated. If someone comes in when I'm not home, I'll be alerted on my iPhone and I can SEE in the house. It's only about $200...maybe look into that. Just waiting the my next payday to get the camera.
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  8. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    SeaGenie and Carri, you both need to review home security. Things as simple as putting thick dowels in the sliders to prevent them from opening to small, install it yourself windows sirens would help you stay safe in your own home. Also, since you are worried about your children coming in without you permission, contact your local police department. Every section of every city/town usually has a deputy assigned to it, get to know yours. Call the police department, tell them your fears and have them do a home safety walk through with you.

    I am glad both of you found your way to this site. It is a good resource to have when there are no co-dependency or AL-anon meetings going on and you have a lot on your mind.

    Offline resources: Local Police, Co-dependency Anonymous: , AL-anon: , NAMI (National Institute of Mental Illness: Private therapy for yourself with therapists who specialize in co-dependency issues.
    Also if you need to put the fun back in your life try: to meet new people for fun events in your area. Having an ongoing social life outside your adult child's life helps you build social support in the community and gives you a boost to pursuing new things that bring happiness back in your life. is not a dating service, it is a site that lists different group activities going on in your community.

    Again welcome to the site!
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  9. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Hi SeaGenie --- Welcome here. Sorry you can relate, but glad to have you here for support (which we all need at times). I recognize your scenario (lived it) and really like all of the information put out on this thread by others. I remember how struck I was by the phrase "Gaslighting" the first time I heard it. Definitely has application.

    You did the write thing. Others who don't live similar scenarios may not understand. But we do. You did the right thing!

    Take care!
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Absolutely a good way to "look" at this. Also, a 23-year-old needs to be in his own place, notwithstanding the current trend of adult children living at home for much longer.

    You are doing great! I see so much good thinking in what you are writing. It is changing how WE think about our adult difficult children that is helpful, and it will happen over time more and more if you continue to replace old thinking and behaving with new thinking and behaving.

    The third aspect is feelings. It took me a while to understand that I needed to "look at" the issue of my feelings separately than my thinking and my behaving. I could think and behave differently and still feel devastated by his actions. The key is not acting on our feelings, and that is very hard to do with our adult difficult children as the scenarios last years and years and there are many twists and turns.

    Today, what I try really hard to do is this: feel my feelings, whatever they are. Accept them as valid for me. Wait. Don't do anything based on my feelings. Let time take its time. Let several days go by. Lie in the bed and cry for hours if necessary. Stare at the wall when you're finished crying. Just let it flow through you and over you, while being very kind to yourself. Your feelings will not kill you. I used to think they would---the pain was so deep and wide. I didn't ever want to feel that way again. I have learned that there is healing and progress to be had in the midst of the pain, if I will allow the pain.

    Another learning that goes along with this is that almost nothing is an emergency. I mean, I have learned this. When difficult child got stabbed/stabbed himself (long story) this past summer, the police came to the homeless day shelter, the ambulance came to the homeless day shelter, he was whisked away to the ER and then the social worker there called me to let me know. Other people will take care of things that are true emergencies. It doesn't have to be us---the mothers---not any more. This is the time to let other people in and trust that all things will turn out as they need to turn out. We have done our jobs, and we have done them well, not perfectly, but well. It's time to let go

    I'm so glad you have had this experience, even though I am so sorry that your brother's disease killed him. My brother is an active highly functioning alcoholic. My ex-husband is an alcoholic who does not drink anymore. My current husband is a recovering alcoholic. My deceased grandmother was addicted to Demerol. On and on. Most of us have long histories of experience with addiction. So...okay. It is what it is. Now---having dealt with my son's addiction for 5+ years, I see the value in having knowledge and experience from these other scenarios. Why? Because even though I am a very slow learner and I continue to make mistakes as I recover from the disease of enabling, it would have been even that much longer for me to start to change without this knowledge.

    You see, I thought I could actually do something that would change the course of my son's addiction. I really did.

    I so get this! For a time I would log into facebook so I could see if he was online or not. That was all I needed, just to know he was alive.

    SeaGenie---there are going to be lots of hard times ahead when you have to stand firm and not participate in his disease. Sometimes you just won't be able to.

    That is okay.

    I used to live in mortal fear that one wrong move from me would be his ultimate undoing. Either doing something or not doing something.

    One time in an Al-Anon meeting somebody said this: Wow, you must be the most powerful person in the world if you think you can control, manage, fix or even influence an addict's choices. Get this: You are just not that powerful.

    For some reason, I really heard that statement that day. I heard it to the core of myself. I even laughed a little at myself because of course I thought that one more bailing out, one more "talking to," one more written contract, one more $50, one more whatever...and the tide would turn. And then everything would be okay.

    Not. Addiction is a 40-foot-tall monster and we are powerless in the face of it. We are a tiny little speck. Addiction mows over everything and everybody in its path. It takes no prisoners. It simply destroys.

    The sooner we can really understand this, the sooner we can stop. We can take a giant step back, and we can turn the bright light of change from our precious adult difficult children whom we love more than we love ourselves (way more, sadly) and then we can turn that bright light of change to where it needs to be: to us.

    We must change. We must change for ourselves first, and then for our precious difficult children, if they are to have space and distance and time and a rock-bottom that is life-changing for them. The more we cushion each and every blow, the more we are literally killing them with our "help."

    You are on the road already. We are here for you. We are Warrior Moms who continue to push forward, learning and changing and stumbling. It's all okay.

    Be kind to yourself today. Do something really nice for you. It can be little or big---a candy bar, a bunch of flowers for your kitchen table, a nap, a walk, coffee with a friend. Turn the light onto your life. It's time---it's way past time.

    He will do whatever he is going to do, and there is not one thing you can do about it. Accepting this kind of powerlessness over people places and things is incredibly liberating.

    Warm hugs. Glad you found this forum.
  11. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Childofmine -- GREAT post! I needed to read that, myself, this morning! Thanks for so eloquently reminding us of these truths! :)
  12. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Trust me on this every single person has secrets they don't want to talk about. Although it is hard to hear others boasting of the accomplishments of their children, understand that does not make you obligated to in turn talk about you child - and the failures. I understand that it feels like a kick in the gut when you hear these "other outcomes" but rest assured for every positive thing someone says about the child, there is something going on in their own personal life they DON'T want to talk about it. Ah, and lest we forget some of those who speak so greatly about their own children may very well be living in denial about what their children are really up to. The point is that everyone has problems and just because yours is problems with your son, doesn't mean you are a failure. It just means you have an issue on your plate. If it helps, just contribute to the conversation (if asked) by saying "he's doing fine" and change the subject to something more interesting or positive for you.
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  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Or... there may be problems 10 or 20 years down the road that they don't see coming. I haven't run into a 'perfect family' yet. There's always something, somewhere, sometime...

    At least we (on this board) know what we are dealing with.
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  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I understand this completely; the crushing disappointment. That's what it is. You have a child and you do your best and you want the best for want them to succeed. Sometimes other parents have been your friends or relation and the kids are close in age and you get to see their FB posts about Eagle Scouts and Dean's list and this or that award. They're so PROUD...and you aren't. I remember once my son saying, "You never say you're proud of me." and my response was, "For what?" I feel awful for that but it was true. It's been the hardest thing for me, trying to let go of any expectations. Because if I have expectations, I only end up disappointed.
  15. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Lil, I am so very proud of you for being able to let go. Your situation is heartbreaking but you are doing a GREAT job at dealing with both reality and detaching for your son. I didn't want to "rate" your post as a winner but I wanted to take the time to tell you I think you have come a very long way in improving your own life through detachment and are an excellent role model for other mothers with difficult children. Bravo, Lil, Bravo!
  16. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I'm trying...but don't be too proud. I am representing him in Court this see if I can get him probation on this shoplifting charge. I freebie from me is all he gets. I don't even know if the PA will deal, but if he will hopefully one chance to change will be all he needs. We'll see.
  17. frustratedmum

    frustratedmum New Member

    You did the right thing kicking him out. As mentioned yes change your locks. Make it clear he can't come back. It is the hardest thing. We bring our children into this world, they pick a wrong path and break our hearts.

    The light is, so much wisdom is found here.
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  18. Estranged2015

    Estranged2015 New Member

    Hi, SeaGenie. I wanted to let you know that I think you are doing great. Even in your post full of difficult things, you have shown me good ways to respond and think about all this stuff that is uncanny how alike our children are – except that mine has actually already done three prison The first time for a week, the second time for several months, the third time for a full year. He is 28. Right now he's only out because he has made some kind of a deal with the police, where he will inform for them, very dangerous I'm sure. Even if he succeeds, he will still have to do some more prison time, just not the years that are otherwise coming to him. He too has met a young lady who is capable in practical ways and takes care of him, but is also a drug user. I am sure that they both use a variety of street drugs. And now she is expecting a baby.

    Before I started listening to the people on the site, just about a week ago. I still thought that I was supposed to be doing something and had been making some mistake that I couldn't identify. I thought it was all my son did a lot to intensify that belief, and he is a past-master at this gaslighting thing – a perfect description of his ways of dealing with me.

    He obviously has an untreated mental illness, and of course I worry about his future. But I am learning, slowly, that there really isn't anything I can do about it.saving him is a very hard habit to break. I knocked myself out a lot saving him when he was small, and even when he was younger man, but it's not possible to fool myself about that any longer.

    Anyway, all that is mainly just to say that I think you are way ahead already, and applaud you for your ability to deal realistically with your difficult child. Good for you.

    Where do you live? For some reason I can't see the introduction stuff on my sale phone tonight. I'm in Philadelphia and would be happy to meet up if you want to. I have been finding it very difficult to get out of the house, one day even to get out of bed, as this is been so traumatic. But I am determined to pick myself up, if only because I have to keep my job!

    Be well. And make your house more secure – he should not be able to get in.
  19. pandora404

    pandora404 New Member

    Hi SeaGenie

    I am also new in this forum. I couldn't presume to add any advice greater than what has already been posted. Except the thing you wrote about Instagram I believe is technically wrong.
    As far as I know Instagram works like Twitter, and not like Facebook where someone has to accept you as their friend. With Twitter and Instagram, if you make an account, you can then have access to any other Twitter or Instagram account (I think unless the person specifically blocks you, but then you could easily just make a new account.) You do not have to create any content yourself. Those social media are just publishing to the world at large, the same as a newspaper. Of course you have to know the name of the account to search for it, but it sounds like you do.

    I don't know if this helps. You may as well have a look at his photos. Knowledge is power (usually).
  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Perfect response.


    I needed to hear this, today.

    I pretty much need to hear this, everyday.

    One of the moms here described this as "sitting on her lips."

    COM has hit on the key to regaining our sanity. We need to give ourselves permission not to act on our feelings. One of the best ways I know to do this is to give ourselves time. Sometimes, I say it to myself just like that: "You have time. You do not need to decide anything right this minute."

    It is also helpful to recognize and name it when we are in that place Recovering Enabler calls FOG. There is something strengthening about having a name for those panicky feelings that happen when things have gone badly wrong. FOG is a simple enough term that I can remember it and apply the name to the overwhelmingness of the feelings. That way, I have a separation from them. Once I have a little separation, I am no longer responding out of panic.

    Or horror.

    This is heartbreakingly true. Accepting it involves accepting that our situations are what they are. That is what is hard about emergency situations. The bad things we were so afraid of happen. The story becomes ever darker. The reality of what is happening to your child, of who your child has become, can no longer be denied. I think (for me, anyway) that is the unreasonableness underlying those feelings that we have to do something, anything.

    We are trying to change things back, for our child.

    We are trying to bring them back, like the life they chose was some weird mistake that is going to be okay, now that they see that the bad things we told them might happen actually did happen.

    The legend of Isis is like that. The son has been dismembered. The mother devotes eternity to searching for the pieces. But even a goddess cannot turn back time or change what is.

    And you know what happens to Isis.

    "...not participate in his disease."

    This is legitimate, COM. A legitimate response to all the things motherlove would have us do.

    Thank you.


    This is a healthy place from which to examine the strange situations our difficult child children present.

    This is key.

    You did nothing wrong. Genetics plays its part in what happens to our kids, but it is drug use and eventually, the addiction that attends it, that destroys the delicate chemical balance in their brains and changes their personalities.

    You are not responsible for that. Though we grieve the loss of our children, there is not a way for us to change what is.