Knowing what to do and doing it!


Hi, I do not post much but read alot and have learned so much here. The problem is taking what I have learned and using it! I have a 23 year old son who lives in my home and he is a herion addict. He is verbually abusive to me and always borrowing money with no intention of paying it back. Of course each time he promises it is the last time. Why can I not find the courage to say no and stick to it even if it means having to call the police? He has destroyed property in the past when I say no. I wish I had even a small amount of the courage I see on this board. God bless you all.


Well-Known Member
Wendy, you took my question! I will eagerly await responses because I am not one to give advice.

Yesterday, literally on the heels of my posting on another thread that we have to remember all the things they have done so we don't get sucked into their vortex again, the doorbell rang and my difficult child was at the door, in full backpacking gear and covered head to toe in dirt. As a bit of back history, last week I dropped off a letter to him in detox telling him about our pain and disappointment that he had relapsed after 5 months of sobriety and even accelerated his drug use. I knew he had left detox but did not know the details.

Where he went was leaving detox the day he got my letter, couch surfing with a friend for 4 days, spending most of his remaining money on some 4 Loco Tuesday night and impulsively sneaking over here to get his backpacking gear out of the shed, driving his car far back into the woods with the plan that he would hide his car and hike around the country, getting the car buried up to the axles in soft sand on a power access road in the middle of nowhere, THEN remembering he did not take any food or water and forgot to make the payment on his cell phone so he lost service. That's when he hiked the 8 miles to Walmart, spent his last $7 on Pop Tarts and water, camped in the woods behind Walmart, and hiked the 5 miles to my house yesterday.


I swore I would never let this kid spend another night in my house and I would never again shield him from the consequences of his bad choices.

Yet I spent my evening helping jack and dig the car out, making him dinner, and helping him figure out his next move. And it's 10 AM and he's asleep upstairs. So I don't know. I just don't know how we follow through.

I guess I will go roust him now and tell him it's time to go follow up on that plan he decided on last night and hope somehow one or both of us learned something from this little adventure. I'm starting to think all we can do is try to follow through, realize it won't happen every time, learn, and move on to the next time. We crave certainty, but there is no such thing, especially in the world of a difficult child.


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Staff member
We crave certainty, but there is no such thing, especially in the world of a difficult child.

This is so true. It helped me tremendously to read books by Pema Chodron, a Buddhist nun who seems to specialize in living in uncertainty. Comfortable with Uncertainty, Living Beautifully and When things fall apart, were my favorites, but they're are all worth reading.

Our kids place us on a path we never wanted to be on, and here on this path, control, predictability, reason, logic, stability and a sense of safety do not exist. For us to remain sane and healthy, we have to learn to let go of control and live amidst the remarkable unpredictability and uncertainty of our kids is a helluva journey.............but not impossible to navigate.

Meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, acupuncture and anything which calms the body, the mind and the emotions, for me, was extremely helpful. Crying, to release the pain, exercise to offer up the endorphins, eating a very clean diet and getting enough sleep, ease the struggles we face daily.

Making the choices we do here and simply living through some days requires us to make our health and well being the absolute most important focus we have. Then from a position of strength, commitment and intention, we can do what feels right to us. Sometimes what is right is putting it all aside and helping our kids this time............then beginning to let go once again...........

There is no right or wrong, there is no guide book, we do what we can live with, we do what our hearts dictate and then we learn, we grow, we forgive ourselves, we love ourselves, we accept ourselves and we put one foot in front of the other and move on.

Courage comes from each tiny step we take in the direction of our own peace of arrives when we just can't do what we've been doing.............and usually not a moment sooner. Posting here that you are wishing for your courage to show up, is a very good step in the right's where most of us began...........keep posting, it helps.

We love our kids, we do the best we can, when we are aware of a better way, we do better. We go up and down and sideways, that is the nature of the beast. Don't spend any time at all comparing your process to another or holding yourself to some impossible standard, or blaming yourself for not doing something differently...........we are all warriors in an impossible war and just getting through each day intact and doing what feels right IN THAT MOMENT is a triumph. Be so very kind to yourselves.


Well-Known Member
How long have you known about the heroin? I know for me that was a punch that I have yet to get over.

I dont know how we deal to be honest. I have come to the point where I dont believe much of what he tells me, dont much care about anything he does, dont much want to talk to him, dont much want to see him. This is breaking his heart but oddly it isnt hurting me all that badly.

I was so devastated when he told me he got hooked on heroin in TX but then had to switch to coke here in our town because he couldnt find it here. I dont know if I believe him or not. I tend to believe him because when he first told me we went all sorts of places looking for help and they all would only help those addicted to heroin or opiods but they said he didnt meet criteria. Now I simply dont worry about if he gets clean. Thats up to him and I dont want to hear about it.

He does tick me off sometimes with the things he does. Last weekend his father got to go out on a fishing trip and caught some Mahi Mahi. He didnt get a whole lot but I offered to bring him over some leftovers the next day. Oh no, he didnt want leftovers, he wanted fish he could cook. I got exasperated and told him fine, I will throw them in the garbage. I have a bottle of soap I was going to bring over that same day and I told him I would bring that over the next time I was passing by.

In other words I think we go through stages and we get tired when we get there. Sometimes done is just done.


Well-Known Member
Yes, following through is hard. Much harder than knowing what to do. It's why we take such baby steps with our son. We told him to have a job in a month. The month came and went and he didn't have, hadn't even looked and lied about looking. Instead of tossing him out, we stopped all cash (regardless if he promised to pay it back) and took the car. Now he only gets it for a job interview that is too far away to walk. Even if he has some money of his own for gas, no car. It's now been another month. No job. We sat him down and told him if he doesn't have one by October 1, he will have nothing but a roof over his head from us. Sure he can eat, but we have always bought things for him that we would not eat because he's always been so picky. That ends. He's already railing the unfairness. That's an exaggeration, but it's clear he already thinks he won't meet the deadline. So then I guess we'll have to come up with a more solid plan with another deadline. I hope we don't actually have to kick him out. Because the way it's going, it would be 1) winter and 2) he has no one else to go to.