Maybe I'm Awakening too?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nature, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    For over 15 years I've dealt with my son's addictions that my own brain has been in a fog. Suffering from PTSD for his past behaviours and fearing for my own safety from my child was heart wrenching.The constant worry and lack of sleep deeply affected me and the stress plays havoc on one's body. For me, it means lack of sleep and days without eating.

    I wrote on another post that he is slowly emerging from his past addiction and thus it's is changing me as well. I had gone on stress leave in May with my job and only returned to work this past Tues.

    I reread post and listen to my own advice I gave others. After two weeks of working my son was fired from his job. This happened to the child of another poster and I had to re-read my advice to her and I saw that sometimes we're often too caught up in our own emotions to think rationally and it's the advice of others that give us more clarity. When my son called me with the news I could hear the dread in his voice as if he expected me to be upset and while disappointed I did not give him advice as I did in the past - instead I let him carry on and work it out himself as to what steps he would do next.

    Ironically,2 days later he became very ill again and was hospitalized (not drugs but his sepsis returned). He's back to an out patient clinic getting daily IV treatment for the next several weeks. I'm glad I didn't get into a long discussion with him as a result of being fired. Just listened. The reason for his firing was he took several long breaks, moved slowly on the job and seemed unable to complete the work. Ironically,the previous day his supervisor approached my car when I went to pick him up and told me what a wonderful employee my son was. What changed in that 1 day? Different supervisor at different job site but OMG what a difference in one day? I feared drugs may be involved but decided in our conversation not to even bring that up...again I just listened and left my judgement out of the conversation.

    A few nights later he had to be rushed to the hospital as his sepsis had returned .I am so glad I didn't accuse him of falling back into his addiction and our conversations turning accusatory and ending badly.

    I felt ready to return to work and even decided after 20 years to change my place of employment. Same job title, different school with less hours and cutting my commute to only mins a day. Learning to care for myself again and ease my stress load. Learning to heed my own advice to others.
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  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Nature, all the best to you and your son! I hope he recovers quickly. You have gained a lot of wisdom on your journey, which you’ve shared with many us here. Sending good wishes for peace for you and continued steps towards recovery for your son.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Nature, that was very brave of you. Yes brave .it is brave to let them talk without our giving advice. It is brave to let it be.

    Nature, my own son is calling me in five minutes and will tell me something I will think I can fix. I am glad I read this first. I will remind myself to listen only.

    Thanks for the reminder. And I am so glad your sin recovered!!!
  4. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Yes listening without comment is so difficult. I'm just not successful with that so often with my one son. Its a learned thing, reversing years of parenting. With younger kids its appropriate but with older ones not.

    Took me years to overcome the PTSD. Found that being here was often a trigger and had to leave. Fact that I'm here is proof that you can overcome it.

    Enjoy your life. Let him find a way to enjoy his.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean.

    I feel that being here keeps me tied to the negativity of what has happened in relation to my son, and I believe that stepping away would serve me in better connecting to what is and can be positive in my life.

    However, even though I do not "know" all of you in your corporal bodies, I feel known here and supported and do not want to turn away from that.
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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  6. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Copa I fully understand. As I recall it was only when mine had a prison sentence of a couple of years and was over 20 that I decided it was time to detach. But I also had two younger ones at home who deserved more of me. As with everything in your life you need to figure out what is positive and what is not. If the support is positive then its worth staying.

    I think for all of us there's a sense of community lost when our kids behave badly. We just don't fit into the PTA crowd or trade updates on our kids with the neighbors as we did when they were young. No matter how well intentioned, people don't relate to us. Just the way it is. For me this was a huge loss when my oldest was in elementary. I tried to gain some of that back when he was gone. Didn't work. I became part of a community of dysfunction people, of which I am one now. This site can provide a sense of community.
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  7. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Yes to this. Most people can’t relate to my kids’ stories at all, or mine. If I open up, I may get sympathy, but not understanding. Mostly, people have no idea what to say if I’m really honest. It makes them uncomfortable.

    Copa, I hope this site is still a net positive for you.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well. I am right there with you. Sometimes I wonder if it is in "my head." Projection. That it is my expectation of judgment that keeps me outside. But I have suffered a great deal at the hands of neighbors. The object of gossip and judgment. While the worst offenders are gone, I keep to myself. I do not give anybody a chance to do the same thing again.

    It's funny. I live in an upper middle class neighborhood. Just a tract house but in a relatively desirable neighborhood in our town. M thinks the people are snooty. With no reason to be.

    Well. The thing is. The other house is in what the police call the "ghetto" part of town. Largely Hispanic. In this neighborhood there was no judgment of us. No judgment of me. None of M (actually he is revered.) And actually. No judgment of my son. Who talks bad about us. They worked continuously to keep us all in the fold and see us all favorably. Nobody gossiped. (Or at least not maliciously.) I do not want to engage in racial or ethnic stereotyping, but nobody put us into the community of dysfunction in that neighborhood.

    But in my own mind, that is where I live. And how I feel within my own family.
    Elsi. You are talking here about talking about your kids.

    I tell the truth. And you know what? When I do a whole lot of people tell me their truth. I know that the pharmacy tech has a son on methadone. I know that the cashier at Home Depot's husband is bipolar. And I helped her get him to a university clinic where he would be responsibly medicated. He functions now. The man at Home Depot who carries heavy stuff to the car told me he couldn't get his daughter, her husband and their five kids to leave his house, and he was sick of it. You get the drift.

    If we do not tell the truth about our lives other people don't either.

    But this does not work so good all over. Maybe it is a litmus test. Maybe I should NOT want to go where they do not want to hear my truth.

    Sometimes I feel very, very vulnerable when I tell the truth about how I feel. Like on the other thread when I posted I wake up lately with feelings so sad that I want to die.

    I get anxious and afraid now when I type that. I do not want to be a woman who wakes up wanting to die. There is nothing about the persona I built throughout my life where that fits--that I suffer so much I feel like I want to die. I ran from that. I tried to make myself into a person whose life other people might want. Because I was running from my own real life.

    So. That is why I am served by telling this true thing. I am served by telling you the truth. There is something in me or in my experience of life that suffers. That is a true thing. It does not have to be my reality but for right now it is my truth.

    What is so bad about that? I think it takes strength for us to tell the truth about our lives. Like we do here. Even anonymous it is hard.

    I have not seen one person rejected here because she (or he) told the truth about their suffering.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  9. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    This is such a timely post, wish I had read it about 10 minutes earlier. DS called me and I was expecting something bad had happened. He had told me about some issues (not him personally) with new mgt at work earlier today and was calling today tell me two of the best employees quit tonight. I realized I had started to give advice and then caught myself. It is just our nature to want to solve problems for our kids but sometimes they just want to tell us things without advice or judgment. It's hard to change, for them and us.
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  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Copa this is the safest place ever to say exactly how you feel. Dont fear us. We appreciate honesty.

    As for the population as a whole, I found things similar to you. Upper class people who want us all to think their poop doesnt stink look down on us when we expose a blight because they are snooty! I like M! Also, they also have blights. They just dare not share them.

    I am no longer traumatized by it, but never forgot the rotten treatment and judgment me amd my family got for not being rich in a rich Jewish neighborhood (and we were Jewish too). My mom told me that non Jews were mean to Jews and Jews stuck together. It was her true experience. My Dads as well. But it was not mine.

    I was a struggling, alearning disabled student and there was no help for that back then, and you know how important academics are in the Jewish community. Also my family didnt live or buy rich. I got teased for my clothes, our house, our car etc.

    The few people who accepted me were the few non Jews who were not so rich that were in my classes. There were maybe two each year.. The Jewish kids, supposedly my own people, laughed at me, ridiculed me, even assaulted me...for not being good enough in their eyes. This contributed to but was not the only reason why I left Judiasm. I never lived near Jews again.

    Once I left that suburb for good and started working at segregated places in Chicago I found that the most compassionate people I met were African American. They understood feeling like a misfit. Or lesser than. I have always gotten along great with Afrucan Americans and other mistreated minorities. They get me. I often wished I had been born into a minority community where people understand struggling. A middle class area of people that were different ethnicities.

    I think that the richer the area, the whiter that rich area, the more judgment we face. White people never faced discrimmination for race. And I think Jews idenify as caucasians and since many are successful and can pass as white they do the same these days.

    I am more comfortable in a non upper class neighborhood. I feel everyone is nicer. We help each other. No snooty. (i love that word...snooty lol).

    Copa I am sorry you shared with people who judged. I hope that never happens again. Ever. I am sorry your son talked to the neighbors! Jeez. That was one thing even Bart never did. That must have hurt. Again I am sorry.

    You have a gem in M. I understand why he is looked up to.

    I hope I did not offend you when I explained what happened to me in that rich Jewish neighborhood. I did not mean it could have happened in any upscale neighborhood.

    Love and light.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  11. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Maybe your son was starting to get sick, and that affected his job performance, I hope he is getting better. Ksm
  12. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    For me its not just sharing with people. It was the constant cop cars in front of the house. My kid behaving suspiciously around the area. What other kids knew he got into trouble for at school. The arrest reports in the paper listing the address. When your 12 year old stole a bike from a garage around the corner or from in front of the library...when I call the cops cause I find an unknown bike in my garage....and everyone knows.... It must be because of me/ because they don't have a father/ because I work/ etc. Etc. Anything they want but I'm the parent it must be my fault cause he's only 10, 12,. Yes there is no sense of community.
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  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Im so sorry, Smithsmom. Stories like this break my heart.

    One dear wiman ive known since my 20s works as a Teacher Aid in a class for "behavior problems" (I hate this description). She has told me often that the teachers sit in the lounge bashing the parents.

    But my friend has a difficult child who had many problems. He is now on SSI and is a minister but his wife supports them. He hasnt been in trouble for a very long time. But he was. And she never forgot her fight for her son at the very school she has worked for now for twenty years. So she defends the parents to these teachers and never quits.

    But it saddens her. She is close to retirement but it still bothers her. This "horrible" mom is currently putting her whole life on hold to lovingly care for her grandkids because one of them has had cancer since he was two and Mom often has to spend months in the hodpitsl with him. She has one of the kindest souls. The "disturbed" kids love her.

    Sure. Terrible mother.

    This misperception is part of the horrible wrongful thinking our society sits on.

    I am so sorry again.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I sometimes find this to be true as well. Sometimes posting keeps my focus too much on my son, when what I really need is to distance myself in all respects from thoughts of my son -- physically, spiritually, and mentally.

    I think this place, though we focus on our children's journeys, is really about OUR journeys. Often when a trauma is fresh and raw, we need to be close, and we need to talk it out. Other times, maybe when things are starting to crust over, it's best to step away and give it some fresh air, so to speak. Other times, we may even feel strong enough to help others tend their wounds. That's the beauty of this place, I think.
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  15. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Oh boy. We live in one of "those" neighborhoods. And there are lots here, or I should say there were lots here that had that "my sh1t don't stink" assatude. There are still a few, most have been relocated, or they have a child that's name hit the paper in an unflattering way.
    I don't care what the income is there are still problems, the higher the income the more they throw money at it to try and hide it.
    Remember the show "desperate housewives"? We had all of that and more going on in this neighborhood for 3 years.. I was always so removed from it all and sat back and watched--probably with y mouth hanging open. I am not originally from this area (not even from this state, and I didn't grow-up in and never wanted to live in a sub-division--hated them and still do, people are too nosy and judgmental)
    You probably think, "why are you in one?" location wise it was the best for our disabled son . AND we didn't think we would be here more than 3 years.

    I think it is great advise to LISTEN to our children when they call, text, don't jump to conclusions. I admit it. I always jump to conclusions. I wish I could have an honest conversation with my son. That he could just talk to me and tell me what's going on. I wish he could do this, and me just listen and not judge or wonder if he is lying.
  16. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I am thinking of all of this too as our son will be coming back from a 13 month Christian program next month.

    Last night laying in bed, my husband said "J will be home in one month!". I said yep. He said well that didn't sound very happy and I said I think of the pain.

    D Day.

    Ugh. I want to be so happy but I just don't feel it. I feel fear. I have been so hurt to the very core of my soul by my son. I was in therapy for 2 years. I'm not now because we've moved out of state and how do you start over with someone new. Sounds exhausting.

    Instead I have joined a church and go to Bible Study once per week. I am trying to build myself up in different way so I have the strength to deal with the unknown. That's all I know how to do now.

    My husband also always says "misery loves company" but that is not why I come here. I come here because it makes me feel not so alone. I come here because I think I do have something to offer others based on my own journey with our son. I see myself in others' posts, both oldies and newbies.

    Nature, I am trying to sort out how to "parent" this person coming back into my life that is now 23. I know he isn't 23 in the true sense of the word due to his drug use. All I know is that we will provide food and shelter and the rest is up to him. He says he wants to live a normal life. That's all we every wanted too. I am going to have to bite my tongue too and not offer advice. Just listen.

    None of us can see the future. We all hope that all this worry will be for naught. I sure do.
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Community doesnt have to be where you live. It can be church, family (some families atr very close and use each other the most), friends, any group that care and get together

    There is more of this and less than neifhborhoods these days, I think. Unless tou live in a very small town but talk about gossip....
  18. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I have found it to be very enlightening here in the deep south!

    People are kinder, friendlier and not afraid to talk about their religion. It's a nice change for us.

    Oh and it's still pool weather here!

  19. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Just one quick thought cause mine was in the position some of you mention.

    From what I've read, i'm no scientist:

    The brain continues development at least until mid 20s. Drug use can slow or stop that. But getting off drugs (due to incarceration for mine) can allow the brain to catch up.

    So not only will they "mature" due to circumstance in teens and early 20s, but a sober program can also push intellectual growth. My understanding anyway. As mine's HS years were controlled by drugs i always sent him more educational books in prison. He did read some real literature. And some science. Comparative religion. Business. History...lots of stuff. In that sense he's made up for some lost time. Only thing I could send anyway. Gotta love amazon! They happily deliver to prisons everywhere.
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  20. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Posting inspired me... This comes under we never give up hope as parents.. He took a personal trainer class in prison and liked it. I won't send the $400 or so he wants to get certified as he has years left before he gets out. But I was inspired to just send him a college text, more or less, intro to anatomy and physiology. I can live in hope he might learn to care enough about his body to not use when he gets out!!! We live in hope!

    Mind you it is two versions out of date and still cost $40! But have to send new to prison. He never did biology in HS!
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