My son is spiraling down

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Quicksand, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    My 23 year old son is in the Pacific Northwest. He impulsively left the Midwest about a month ago, and as I've learned from his ex girlfriend , he is using heroin and serially hooking up with women and then robbing them. There are several Facebook posts I've seen from women in states he's passed through talking about how he's stolen money, laptop, id's and credit cards. He is self diagnosed Borderline (BPD)( which I agree with). He stays in contact with me via text but will not admit to anything. He has a car and is living in it. I'm terrified at the prospects for his future. I'm beginning to lose hope for him, since he will not be honest with me at all. I feel great sympathy for all of you and all I can do is go day by day. This is horrifying.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. He is on drugs, and people on drugs lie. It sounds like the law is going to be in his life very soon. There is nothing you can do for him to make him quit. You may want to not want to facebook stalk him for awhile so that you can step back and get your center back. Devote your attention to you, hubby, and daughter. Do not send him money out of some misplaced guilt.
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  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Quicksand, I am so sorry.

    He will likely be arrested very soon, and perhaps that is the next right step for him on this journey. I started to become glad when my son would get arrested after the first couple of times. At least i knew he was "somewhere" and could get food and a place to sleep and presumably was away from drugs. That was a step up in my mind.

    Your son will do what he does until he stops. You have very very little to do with it. I know that's hard for us to fathom, but it helped me to think like this:

    There is a big wheel with many spokes. My son is at the center. I am one tiny skinny spoke. Once he works his way through me and through the other spokes, to get what he wants, then he starts all over again, with me and then spoke by spoke by spoke.

    The fewer the spokes that will help him...the sooner he has to face himself.

    Your son may have another mental illness besides addiction, and he may not. There is no way to tell unless and until they get clean from drugs and alcohol.

    In the meantime, it's just going to be pure misery.

    Do yourself a huge, huge favor. Turn the spotlight, the focus, the bright light...away from him...and onto yourself. Use the energy you are spending worrying, crying, grieving---at least part of it---on doing some simple, kind things for yourself. We need to treat ourselves very tenderly during these times---we are raw and bleeding from the pain of it.

    Keep life simple, and slow it all way, way down. Let time take its time without you rushing in, trying to do something. This is a practice I had to learn because all I ever knew was "doing something, taking action" to fix things. But when it comes to people, we can't fix it. Our helping just doesn't help.

    I'm so sorry for your pain. Feel it, claim it, but don't let it drive you to act or react to him. Keep your distance as best you can. He needs to stand the full light of his choices, and only then can he have a chance to start changing.

    We're here for you. Warm hugs.
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  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can't add anything more than Childofmine has. But I can give you a cyberhug and urge you to check out Families Anonymous. They were a wonderful support to me. I even learned how to laugh again and find joy in life.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with everybody else. He will be stopped. It is the best thing.

    I would not think about a diagnosis until after he stops using and many months after that.

    This is our opportunity to confront ourselves and to change, to find the peace that has eluded us for our entire lives. I know that sounds slightly incredible that out of this chaos exists the opportunity to find your best self, but I believe it can be so.

    I am doing so and so are others. The important thing is to keep posting, and post a lot. Remarkable change can come from this. Not just good counsel and support but real change.

    I wish you peace.

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  6. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    Thank you, guys.. I agree with Copa about having a personal transformation. This is teaching me to look to God and slow down. I can't stand having adrenaline rushing through me constantly, it makes me crazy. My husband said he feels no joy inside. But we will get it together and we're both on the same page, so that's a very good thing. In the past we haven't been and that makes things worse. My daughter will be home on Wednesday and the three of us are going to cook together- in our pajamas and watch a marathon of something.(I'll take suggestions!) I'm really looking forward to that. It just comes over me when my mind is still- all the fear and anguish. It really hurts. But I do believe this is making me confront myself and change for the better. I'm learning peace. You guys are amazing.
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  7. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi Quicksand,

    Want you to know I am reading along and with everybody else on this forum surrounding you with hope and strength and peace.

    There is nothing you can do except focus on yourself and those who treat you right. (I heard this so often when I was new here. Simple, yet powerful, advice)

    I hope you plan lots of fun things for you in the upcoming days and weeks. Do something nice for you every single day.

    When I found this forum, I too was beyond distraught. What a Godsend it has been.

    Stay close and post often. It helps immensely. husband and I know, without a doubt, that this forum was one of our strongest ropes for climbing out of the despair and helpless feelings.

  8. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Quicksand, you have received lots of good advice from very kind and loving people who have been through similar journeys. The road is rough, but you will get through it. You are not alone. Welcome to the forum, so sorry for your troubles that brought you here.
    It is horrifying, and day to day, sometimes becomes moment to moment. One thing that helped me, was to "unfriend" my two, on Facebook. I find it less painful, then having their postings, or their friends postings, as a play by play of sordid activities. Not good, when I am trying to build myself back up.
    This is such good imagery. It is so true.
    Yes, raw. It is good to get the feelings out, and process the grief of it. Please do not linger there. It is too hard. Plus, you have a younger adult child. I wish I had seen my enabling, the intense attention I was giving to my two, when I had three waiting in the wings. They detached before I did. They saw their sisters going down the path, making those choices and said "That is not the person I grew up with. When that person shows up, then we can talk."

    Breathe. Take time to breathe. It will take a while to develop new responses and reactions to replace the old ones. One day, one moment at a time.

    My girls and son love 'Once Upon a Time" It is based on old and new children's characters and stories, in a modern day setting. Spending time with my kids who are doing well is very refreshing. It helps me tremendously. I am glad you have this to look forward to!

    You will be okay Quicksand. This forum has a lifeline of wonderful folks reaching out to one another and sharing their experience and knowledge. Everyone is at various stages of the journey, and can relate to what you are going through.

    You are not alone. Keep posting, it helps, it is comforting to know there are others who are where you are.

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  9. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    Help!! I don't know what to do. My son is texting me how he wants to exact revenge on his ex girlfriend for outing his criminal activity on Facebook and demanding that I tell him who told me. I was gently saying that those feelings are a good reason to seek treatment and that I know he's hurt but that he must seek help. I have a therapist lined up that will take him. After much back and forth where he went from serious to ANGRY to sarcastic. I calmed him down and then said I was tired and needed to go to bed and he said: oh yeah "you're there for me"!
    I, feeling afraid he's going to do something crazy said: let's keep talking . .. We talked some more then he stopped. 10 minutes later, he's texting accusing me of withdrawing money from his bank account. We don't have access to his account, only for deposit! Now he's saying he's at a gas station and out of gas with no money. I sent him a box that he received yesterday. It had his (new from the bank) debit card, an $80 visa gift card and a McDonald's card along with a bunch of food. How do I handle this manipulation? One minute he's telling me he's losing his mind and can't stop his behavior and then I'm feeling like I'm being played for money. I feel like if I let him fall he's going to do something really bad. He won't admit the drug use. My husband , daughter and I are all openly brainstorming on how to handle this in the healthiest way possible. Healthy seems impossible.
  10. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    I'm re-reading all of your comments. It's helping.
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Quicksand I am so sorry for this, it is cruel. I have seen many times here on CD folks advising to call 911 for suicide threats. I would think the same rings true, if one of our d c's makes threats to harm someone other than themselves,and you see it as a possibility.
    I also reviewed your initial post and see that there are other incidences on Facebook allegedly regarding theft. If this is true it is very destructive behavior.
    Quicksand, please reread your post and see what you are saying. I do not think you have an obligation to send your son money to help fund his lifestyle.
    Also, take deep breaths and do not get drawn into his frenzy. It is hard, our d c's live chaotic, disruptive lives, and draw us in to get us to cave and do something right away. Take time to think and stay out of the whirlpool, it will only drag you down.
    Please consider speaking with local police. Maybe you could get some direction there. I would hate for someone to get hurt, that would be hard to live with. I am going out on a limb here Quicksand, please do not be offended, anyone can post anything on social media. If you think what these woman are posting on Facebook could be true, then your son has crossed a line. This is describing predatorial behavior.

    If someone did this to your girl, you would be crazy upset. I am sorry you are going through this with your son. It is tough. We did not raise our kids for this. You have parented him Quicksand, at 23 he is an adult and responsible for his choices.
    Take deep breaths, and give yourself time to think.
    God bless and comfort you
  12. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    Thank you. I did call the police in the city where he is. We are on the other side of the country. I told his ex girlfriend (she's here) to go to the police for a protective order. That's what I've said to my husband- what if it were A! Your word- "lifestyle" really hit me.. This is his choice to live this way. Even if he's ill, there's still choice right? Am I just feeling this way because I'm his mother and I know the person he was? Ugh! I just want to leave my phone off. I will continue to read the posts. You guys are a lifesaver.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Quicksand, you did everything absolutely correct, in my view.
    Telling the girlfriend to get a protective order was perfect.

    No matter what you do, would be enough. This is his game. As you are doing, stay immune.

    He has to become responsible to suffer the effects of his actions. He still believes he can do something, say something to hit the jackpot with your. Your job is to play for the house. Your house.
    What a jerk. If you are such a swindler why does he call you to bail him out whenever he is in trouble?
    Oh well. So sad.
    It was perfect to call the police where he is. What more or less could you really do?

    There is always the risk they can do something serious. In my time here on the board I have not seen it happen yet. But calling his bluff gives him a chance to change. Letting him call the shots, does not.

    What a Thanksgiving. You are doing great. My heart is with you. Keep posting.

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Good Quicksand, you are a good person. It is a hard thing to do, but the right thing. Yes lifestyle, it is a choice. You wrote that your son is self diagnosed, but drug use mimics mental illness. Especially heroin. It is possible your son tells you this to tug at your heartstrings and have you send him money. Even if he is ill, there is still choice. If he chooses to continue to use heroin and not get help or therapy for his supposed illness, that is on him, not you. He is an adult. You do not need to feel guilty or bad about it.
    My daughter is using meth. I would be relieved if she went to jail, thinking she would get clean there. She has never admitted to it, but I know she is.
    It is hard, I know the feeling.
    If your son calls or texts and is disrespectful, you can calmly tell him you will not be listening to that kind of talk and end the call.
    You do not deserve this kind of treatment. You have value and worth and deserve to have a full life. There is a good article on detachment in the P. E. forum. It helps me, I read it frequently.
    Our d c's as adults make choices. They are the captains of their ships, as we are of ours. We do not need to go down with their ship.
    Take one day at a time, and keep posting. It is helpful. You are taking steps to get your life back under control. This is good Quicksand.
    Keep posting and sharing your story, it helps. You are not alone.
    Take care
  15. SadFlower

    SadFlower Member

    This is heartbreaking and painful. There's nothing that you can do to change his behaviors or get him to see the damage he's causing to himself. He will have to figure it out for himself. The Borderline (BPD) makes it much more difficult, but it is something he will need to do. You can't do it for him.
    In the meantime, you will need to take care of yourself. You can't let yourself get lost in this pain. Go out, do something nice for yourself, remind yourself that you do have a life besides this pain.
    Take care.
  16. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Quicksand, This is an arduous journey we are all on. It takes time and practice to start feeling joy and to live your life. I remember early on it felt like I could never be happy again.... just being ok had to be good enough. So right concentrate on being ok....and keep busy. Distraction is a great coping skill so you dont wallow in tthe angst and the worry.

    And with practice it does get easier to enjoy your life and to have times where you feel joy. Yesterday we were worried about our son who had been kicked out of his sober house across the country that day and was on the streets... we didnt know what was happening. Plus we had the news of a HS friend of his overdosing on heroin which is so tragic. Yet even with that we went out to dinner for Thanksgiving with our daugher who is home from college and had a lovely meal and a great time with her. I didnt contact my son until we were on our way home!! Now a few years ago I dont know if I could have had such a good time at dinner.... but with practice I have learned.

    So give yourself time, keep posting here, find a live support group for parents, talk to each other and find good distractions.
  17. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    He sent this text today:
    I'm sorry for shaming you and the family and for failing you as a son
    This goes for dad too. I'm not a son, I'm a bill. I hate myself. I'll never forgive myself for any of this. I'm very broken.
    The pain and guilt that's collected in my heart over these years is too much to take.
  18. Hopeful97

    Hopeful97 Active Member

    Hi Quicksand, These types of messages are very hard to deal with especially coming from your son. My Difficult Child has said similar things to me, my first reaction would be to devise a plan to help him. Most of the time he would just do what he wanted anyway, if he did take an idea from me, social worker, therapist psychiatrist he would never follow through. My son has a mental illness and I am sure self medicates. Our dcs choices are usually not good choices, they are the ones that have to learn to live with their choices. I am learning that giving my Difficult Child money was actually not helping anything just enabling my Difficult Child. I am learning to detach, there is a very good article on detachment on this forum at the top. I have not been on this site very long but it has been so helpful I cannot even put into words how helpful and I reread the article all the time it helps me stand strong. My Difficult Child knew what to say to get from me what he wanted. I would drop everything to respond to and help. Actually, it was him manipulating me and I was not helping I was enabling. It is hard but necessary to say no and stick to it. I have a very hard time accepting that my Difficult Child will not truly seek help and how he could not seek help and choose to live by couch hopping or sleeping on the street. I also recommend the book Codependent No More. When I first started reading about being a codependent I thought that is not me. But I kept on reading and posting on this site and am coming to grips with the fact that yes I think I am codependent. I hope this has helped in some way. Warm Hugs, Hopeful
  19. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    This is good. If it is true, and not a ruse to tug at your heart-strings.

    Either way, you can respond in loving detachment. COM wrote a good addition to the article in P.E. for us.
    Your response could be something like this
    "We love you very much, you are our son. You have value and worth, but you need help to stop using drugs. "

    Something like that. Then you could encourage him to find a rehab, a program. I think even Salvation Army has one.

    If he has truly hit a low point, this is the time he could take a step to help himself.

    I hope this is true.

    Stay strong! Stay focused and present.
    Keep posting, it helps.

  20. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    I responded with, we love you and know there is a way to peace. You just have to commit to the work. We told him to come back to our state and insurance will cover treatment. I'm not exactly sure how that would work. Maybe an apartment on the condition of going to all meetings and therapy? I just don't see an answer with him being on the other side of the country with no money, no job and no friends or family.