My son is blind and an addict who is using while living in my home. What do I do?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Georgie, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. Georgie

    Georgie New Member

    My son is 45 years old. He has been using alcohol and drugs since he was 18 years old. He has never really stopped and last year he became legally blind from drinking something. He came very close to dying. Now he lives in the home of my wife and I. He has gone as long as 3 months sober usually drinks every month. It is taxing on me especially my wife. We believe he will not make it if we send him on his way. His pattern has been self destruction and now he is blind and has difficulty functioning. He really needs to be in a care home but he refuses to go. I don't want him to die but I also don't want it to burden my wife as we are getting older.

    Plus we try to find detox and either he walks away or he is unwanted. When he drinks he is like an 90 year old man for days. We have to clean up ****, some watch him for days and he is often grumpy and hard to handle. He causes problems with my other children, pushes buttons, and manipulates things to get his own way. We have taken his money away and now he says we are taking advantage of him. He is bipolar and he says we are penalizing him for having an illness.

    What should we do?
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome--

    I am sorry that you are dealing with this and I wish I had some better answers for you, but unless you are willing to evict him and force him into some kind of assisted living situation...I think you do not have any real options. If a near death experience was not enough of a "wake up call" to your son - I cannot imagine anything that will have enough of an impact on him to really change his behavior. You may need to make the difficult choice of choosing between your son and the rest of your family.

    If I sound hopeless and bitter - it is because we just buried a 49 year old relative who refused to change his ways or get help for his issues. His 75 year old father spent thousands of dollars and endless hours caring for him, trying to get him to take care of himself, going crazy with worry - to no avail.

    Sometimes, Love is just not enough...

    I'm sorry.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, although sorry you have to be here.

    I think you and your wife need to think about yourselves first. I know this sounds selfish, but this grown son is well past middle age and almost died and didn't quit. Apparently, he won't and could die anyway, even if you house him. I'm sure you and your wife have done the best that you can for him and nothing worked so my suggestion, even if it sounds cruel, is to make him go to assisted living or, if he refuses, then evict him and let him decide where to go. Of course, if this is unthinkable for you and your wife, then you have no choice but to put up with whatever he is going to dish and to destroy your own golden years.

    I am not bitter. I just have learned that we do not have to stop living because our grown kids insist on making dangerous choices. We can let them know that we love them and will be here if they need support, but we don't have to go down the tubes with them. Your son can get clean and learn how to function without sight. Many people do. It is his own decision, really.

    Even if he is bipolar, that doesn't mean he can't get good help or that you have to take care of him for as long as you live. What will he do when you're gone? You can't live forever, and it doesn't sound like your other kids are going to take him in. Eventually, he will be out there on his own or getting assisted living help. He won't have a choice.

    Hugs and I'm so sorry that you are going through this difficult time.
  4. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Sadly, so many of them will not try to help themselves until they are forced to. What would he do if something happened today that neither you or your wife could take care of him anymore.

    There is no doubt in my mine that my 35yo son would be living on my sofa if I allowed it. It is a difficult situation, but, I would be looking for assisted living (or some other living arrangements) for him.

    There are a great number of books 'out there' and one I read made me really look at my enabling. As long as you continue to do for him he does not have the motivation to do anything for himself. If you can afford therapy it is really worth it. Look for support groups in your area. It is a very difficult situation to be in (we all know that on this forum) but until you start to change he will not. He is comfortable just like he is, even if it is a bad situation.

  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Georgie, welcome. I'm so sorry you are going through this with your son. If your son is bipolar, you might want to contact NAMI, which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can access them on line, they have chapters all over. They have information and resources which may offer you alternatives for your sons housing and care. The NAMI branch where I live in CA. has Social Workers who work with the families and they will figure out what the services and resources are and hook the family up. Unfortunately, your son may not move in that direction, I'm sure he's become quite comfortable in your home manipulating all of you to get his needs met. Even with the disabilities your son has, it does not give him the right to make the rest of you miserable. You have rights. If your son is not willing to get the help offered, you can also begin eviction. Eviction is different in all states and some states require a legal court order, even if it is your own son. You might want to research that as well.

    You are in a tough situation, I'm sure it feels like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. You and you wife might have a serious conversation to figure out exactly what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do. Once you get clear on that, if you are willing to take some difficult steps, you may be able to shift this situation around. You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post. If I were in your shoes, (and I have been very close), I would get all my ducks in order. I would find out through NAMI or Social Services, exactly what services are available for my son. There are group homes, there are options. I would talk to the Social Workers and get that information down. Then I would figure out exactly what the eviction process is. Then I would find all the local homeless shelters in my area. In the meantime, I would consider getting counseling for both you and your wife so you have support to make these difficult choices. Once I had all the information at my fingertips, I would have a serious conversation with my son and tell him what his options are. Presuming you can find alternatives for housing through some Social Services, if he is not willing to follow through with that, then you can start the eviction process.

    First you have to decide what you are willing to do. For me, I was not willing to allow my daughter to ruin my life and the lives of the rest of the family, so I learned how to detach with professional help and this board. I took some hard steps to unhook myself and over time learned how to let go. If that is the choice you and your wife make, my suggestion is that you seek professional help in the way of a therapist. It's a challenging road to choose. Your sons illness and his choices are not your responsibility unless you decide to take that on, you do have choices. You may have to dig around for them, it may take time and a commitment, but I would start that process today. I wish you peace of mind, I really understand how difficult and heart wrenching this is.
  6. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Georgie and welcome. You certainly have a problem on your hands. Normally, I would tell you that you should just make your son leave your home if he is drinking or drugging but the blindness certainly complicates the issue. Have you contacted the American Federation for the Blind to see if there were any programs or services that could help your son?

    If I were you, I think I would research and try to find any programs where they may help with finding people with disabilities places to live and then insist that your son go to rehab and then on to a group home for people with disabilities if something like that exists.

    How does he get the drugs and alcohol? Can he get himself to a store? Where does he go when he walks out of detox? That seems like it would be hard to do in his case.