My entire family is falling apart


Active Member
My week had to be the most horrendous I've experienced in my life...when previously I thought things couldn't be worse like the time I had to have my son physically removed from my home by the police. He was experiencing psychosis from his drug/mental issues and I was in fear of my life. In a nutshell, the police had to break down my door in order to get him. I thought he would finally get the help he needed. He was eventually placed in a recovery facility for 8 months but was asked to leave recently when it became apparent he was probably using again.

This week: Son (28 yrs) was arrested for breach of his conditions (not sure of the circumstances) as we still have no contact order.
His father whom has since remarried and uninvolved in his life since the age of 14 bailed him out and son went to first his home (he called me every day with stories of his behavior and said he can't live with him.) I of course knew exactly what he was going through and could sympathize. He gave him a choice to go to Detox ( lasted less than 24 hrs and my son bailed)
He was on the streets for 4 days and today he readmitted himself into a Rehab less than an hour ago. My heart aches and I can barely breathe as I'm praying time on the streets and that no one was willing to step up and allow him to crash at their place was what was needed.

Let me back track for a moment and apologies for the long post but I'm unable to confide in anyone at this time except my partner who has been supportive.

Monday: Found out sister has stage 4 cancer after being misdiagnosed with other ailments for the past 2 years.
Tues: Son is picked up for Breach
Wed: Sister calls me and informs me Mothers House- our family home is being repossessed due to Insurance on home being cancelled as Hoarder Brother lives with my 85 year old mom. Fire Marshall has imposed numerous fines over the years to no avail. Brother still hordes even after city has cleaned up property and fined my mom 6,000 dollars each time. Bank sends letter they will pull the mortgage as she no longer has insurance. House will have to be put up for sale. Leaving my 85 year old mom with partial dementia and double hip replacements homeless. She had taken the majority of her home equity out (reverse mortgage) and unable to pay it back so monies left will be very little. She had been supporting my sister for the past 2 years as my sister had been unable to work.
Wed: Son was in jail
Thursday. Son's dad bails him out and allows him to live with him (did not think this would go well as dad married his ex best friend's wife and lives with her and her three children). Dad had called my son rarely and has never contacted his older brother even tho we were together for 17 years starting when my oldest was only 3) I did not dwell on the past as was trying to be as helpful as possible as I was praying it would work out.
It lasted 4 days and son was placed in Detox.
My son was on the streets for four days, no phone, ....T my son called every relative from borrowed phones and even had my sister with stage 4 cancer and my disabled mom in her walker drive 2 hrs from out of town to pick him up (he didn't show and they waited in the car for over 2 hours). Begged my sister to please not to send him monies again (as she had) nor come to his rescue again unless she speaks to me. I had to very gently inform them and his dad that helping him was not really helping him. He needed to be told that the only help available was Detox or Rehab and it was up to him. Occasional garbled messages sent from T who was very stoned on Meth...crying, begging for help, and if refused money (not the kind of help wanted to give) horrible rants . Told everyone , YES I KNOW ITS HARD!!! Toughest thing you'll have to do but do it in order to save his life so he seeks help. PLEASE.
Oldest son's dad whom I not heard from in years but do have a good relationship with calls me and ask if I've heard from B. My oldest is a good kid who has High Functioning Autism, bought his own place and has a good job. He said unlike B not to return calls and he hasn't heard from him in two days. I call and not successful either. I now feel that I can't take anymore bad news and can barely breathe.
B calls me back several hours later and his dad too and says his phone was not working. Gasp!
T admitted himself to recovery less than an hour ago and I pray with all my might that he stays. Thank you for listening to my long rambling and allow me to get it off my chest.
I have to stay strong in order to help my sister and mom.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Nature, this is such a nightmare for you. So much happening all at once. My breath catches just reading this.
I do know how it feels when the universe seems to just keep throwing bad news on top of bad news at you. Prayers for you and yours.
So, some good news, B is okay, T is in recovery. SIGH.
The tough one for sister and mom, that is hard. There must be some elderly services in her area? Would sister be able to get help through disability?
Ouch my dear. Prayers for you and your family.
Stay strong and let us know how you are doing.


Well-Known Member
Hi and wow. Im so sorry about your sister how sad

Everything else that has happened is due to the bad choices of other people. Your son is choosing to abuse drugs and it is up to him to stop. There is nothing you can do regarding that.

You have no control over your ex either or if others enable your son, hard as it is to watch.

Your mother apparently at some time made a horrible decision to let her hoarder son move into her house and consequences that you cant control are happening there. Long ago she probably should have evicted him, but she didnt and that is also not your fault. You had no ability to make her evict him.

Perhaps your mother would do better in a home than with hoarder son. Is she competent to make decisions for herself? If not, who is her POA? If it is you, just do what you feel is best. If not, this is out of your control.

You sound as if you feel responsible for fixing your entire family and thats impossible. All of us can only fix/change one person on earth and that is our own selves.

Please try to tone down your stress. You cant do anything and stress is bad for all of us. If necessary please see a therapist.

Im sorry everything seems to be happening at once. It will get better. Time passes. Situations change. WE can change and treat ourselves better. Take a deep breath and remember that your family's problems do not start and end with you. Try hard to calm yourself.
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Active Member
Thank you all for your support.
Despite that "horrible no good bad ugly week" I'm still pretty sane, just stressed. Much of the stress was coming from T this week. I feel like a bit of the weight has been lifted off when he re-emerged. The not knowing is the worst.

I had long resolved that one day my mom would lose her house due to my brothers hoarding. No amount of pleading or offers to her to come live with me prevented it. We have tried many times to clean the house but last time did not end well . I have known since my teens that my mom enabled my older brother. Ironically, I knew and I saw what was coming for my future if I continued with my enabling. We have until next wk to get the house sold before the bank takes it.

I kinda had my mindset that my priority and focus would be my sister as she had no choice whereas my son does. She was only diagnosed with cancer 3 wks ago but we found out Monday it was stage 4.The day she drove 2 hours to get T she had just had 6 hrs of chemo. Earlier in my son's addiction when I no longer felt I had the strength she always came to the "rescue" and had him in her home. I see a pattern here as I believe we all enable, that is until I finally "got it" somewhat a few months ago and broke my own pattern.
I have gone there on weekends to help her with her animals and her home (she lives alone on an isolated mountain 2 hrs away from me).I cooked lots of meals and left them in her freezer. My mom is with her now but unable to do much and I know the stress must be difficult for her too.

I have to stay strong for my mom and sister and despite my protest, my sister is adamant that with the rest of the proceeds of the sale of the home (in the city) they will be able to afford a place in the country and all move in together. My brother comes with them. No amount of trying to reason them out of it would work as it was causing my sister and mom stress. I have to bite my tongue as I know they are only moving their problems from one place to another. I forsee a disaster but I realize I'm not winning when it comes to try to reason with them . My sister is my Mothers Executor.

So I'm trying to now focus on things I can do something about rather than those I can't. Thank you all for your positive comments and support. If anything I have learned about inner strength and the acceptance that I can only change my behaviour and not that of others if they resist. Thank you all for your comments and support.


Well-Known Member
Thoughts and prayers are with you. I am following along with your post. I am thankful that you do sound sane and strong and have an understanding and acceptance, in the midst of the whirlwind around you. You have an inner wisdom.
I have learned about inner strength and the acceptance that I can only change my behaviour and not that of others if they resist.
Yes, this is the big key, the life-ring to stay afloat, one day at a time.
You are not alone. Kalahou


Active Member
Thank you so much Kalahou. I did not come to this way of thinking overnight it took a lot of soul searching and help from reading this forum. Watching the Invention shows on Youtube also helps as I have come to see that families must all commit or else the addict will only go from one person to the next. When one person is worn out the addict will then go on to the next person and the cycle repeats once again. I realize it only prolongs their ability to get monies and continue their addiction.
Last week, when T called me (first time I heard his voice in 8 months) he was crying and pleading for me to come pick him up. My heart shattered in a million pieces hearing my son's distress but I refused to pick him up as he insisted I bring him to my sisters. There was no way I would do that to her at this time so I stayed strong in my refusal. That is when he turned and became so abusive on the phone ...we've probably all heard the awful stuff that comes out of their mouths (kept telling myself that it was not the son I knew but the drugs doing the talking). So I remained calm and firm - NO, I will not do that but he could go to a Detox or Rehab. He hung up on me and I cried my heart out hoping he would follow through with the numbers I gave him for contacts. My sister was wracked with guilt as he called her at least 20 times begging her to please come and get him. I told her not to take his calls any longer. So yes, incredibly hard on all of us but for the first time we were all on board as my sister finally "got it" that driving to his rescue or sending him funds will not have the outcome she wanted. I know and she did too that she would have been unable to resist his begging of money or be able to leave him on the streets. I know she would have gone to his rescue if she had been physically able but she was too ill from the previous days events where she drove those 2 hours to get him, waited 2 hrs in the car for him (he was a no show) and then had to drive 2 hrs back home again. It took it's toll on her and the effects of chemo from the previous day hit her hard. It's why I was able to stay firm too...NO, I would not bring him there.
I did repeat I loved him as did my mom, sister, his brother and his dad but we would not allow him to come stay with us. His only choice was to seek help and he would have to wait until a space opened up at a facility. Sadly, they are so much in demand that there is a usual 3 wk waiting period. He had been lucky previously when his dad found a place in 4 days but T had walked away from it in less than 24 hrs. I prayed a space would open up and spent countless hours calling and emailing facilities but they were all full.

I will help him in that way as I could then pass on the number of a facility that would take him as from experience I know it sometimes takes hours to contact all the facilities. Still, once I found a facility it would be up to him to call and make contact. His voice and cries caused me lots of sleepless nights and caused me a lot of agony and I prayed I did the right thing. (Yes, self doubt still creeps in.)
When he was at his previous recovery facility for 8 months and the no contact order was still in place I would send- via friends- messages of love and encouragement but I did not ask that the no contact order be removed. I hope in his foggy drug addicted mind he knows that I have never stopped loving him but will no longer enable him. The change must come from him.


Well-Known Member
So I'm trying to now focus on things I can do something about rather than those I can't. Thank you all for your positive comments and support. If anything I have learned about inner strength and the acceptance that I can only change my behaviour and not that of others if they resist. Thank you all for your comments and support.
I am taking this wise chunk out of your post to give it a star. Or to let others give it a star. This is the honest truth. Sounds like YOU have changed for the better, but that your sister (sick though s he is) and your mother have not changed to put their needs first and toss out the freeloader/troublemaker. You can't change their minds so do focus on yourself. It has been long enough that you have put everyone else in front of you. I am thinking you don't want to end up enabling until the end, like your mother has done. I am thinking you wish more for yourself and your retirement. At least I hope so.

You can't "help" people who don't want to change. In fact, YOU often end up t he victim because you are somehow turned into the mean, bad guy for wanting the best for your loved ones. You need to decide if it is worth your own stress and wasted golden years.

Hugs for all you must watch and hopes that you w ill be good to yourself rather than trying to get overly enmeshed in the lives of your family.


Active Member
Thank you SomeWhereOutThere...I've always found wisdom in your post too. You're right when you said I did not want to enable until the end as my mother has done. She allowed my brother to move back home at the age of 25 and he has remained ever since. As a result of her inability to get him out - years, years and years have passed, and her life is limited to the small space she has left in her home- her bedroom. No amount of pleading and offers of help has changed her mind and I did see that in my own future if I didn't change my own mindset. We also have choices in our lives and how we want to live just as we tell our children.