Need advice again~!!!!!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by standswithcourage, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Well. . . . . of course I thought we had it all worked out but now my son sends me a letter saying he is re thinking drug court!!!! The ministry guy can get him in a rehab. He says he gets better and not playing so many games every time he goes to see him. He said that my son told him he didnt think he could do drug court. My sons PD told him he worked hard getting him drug court. I think it is an easy way out right now but what he hasnt thought about is that home is not an option while he is working that basically outpatient program. It is a year and a half - get a job - pay every week - drug test every week - go to AA meetings - etc. and if he is home guess who takes him?????? Not going to happen. So he also asked if he could come home on house arrest and wait until they found him a bed in rehab - I dont think so! Why in the world do I have to keep explaining to him that it is not in his best interest - there is not enough structure for him to succeed especially at home - rehab may have more structure and people trying to recover but that is not a sure cure either - it comes from him = why does it still hurt so much to tell him no - I guess I just put myself in his shoes sometimes and know that if I was him I would want to come home - but home is where all the people he hung around with are - we both work and my easy child son about had a fit! So ........ that is the deal. Any opinions>>>>
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    My opinion?

    Stop telling him about how it is in his best interest.

    It is all about him. You have always made it all about him, and even when you are trying to detach, it is still all about him. Be honest. Tell him no, he can't come home because you have better things to do than to worry about if he is going to screw up again. Tell him he has had however many chances and that you are DONE. Remind him that he is a grown man and that it is time for him to act like one.

    If he were REALLY serious, he would NOT want to come home. He would want to grow the heck up and move on with his life! Think about that when you put yourself in his shoes.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree with BBK.

    This has to sit on his shoulders. Stop explaining it to him. He's not listening anyway. Just tell him NO, and leave it at that.

    I know it's hard, but if you want this kid to grow up and take responsibility you're gonna have to do it. He's still looking for the easy way out, and for you to come to his rescue.

    BBK is right. If he was serious he wouldn't want to come home.

  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Another vote for a simple (but firm) NO. He needs to grow up. You need to let him grow up. That means he makes his own decisions and learns to live by those decisions.
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Susan, when you explain to your difficult child that things are or are not in his best interest, then it's still all about him.

    Self-interest is clearly something your difficult child understands. So, when you demonstrate some self-interest of your own he will likely listen and hear your message loud and clear.

    If you feel the need to explain anything, tell him that you are now looking out for yourself, and he is expected to look out for himself.

    Daisy, BBK, Meow and Suz have given great advice.

    I would suggest that you figure out what you need to say to your son, and rehearse it a thousand times until the words roll off your tongue. Take the list of detachment phrases and say each one out loud until they feel natural and comfortable in your mouth.

    Remember this. Saying "no" is NOT being mean to your son. It's probably the best possible thing you can do for him. Also, it's probably the best possible thing you can do for yourself.

    I don't remember who told me this, but it was good advice:
    If you don't want people to treat you like a doormat, stop lying down on the floor.

    People can only take advantage of you with your cooperation.

    Be strong, Susan. You can do it.

  7. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I so agree with the advice you have been given. If you want to give him an explanation, tell him it is not in YOUR best interests to have him come home! When I kicked my drt out I was clear on that point--it was for the best interests of our family that she leave. We would no longer tolerate her behavior and she had to go. It did turn out to be for the best for her as well but that wasn't the point at the time.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You don't have to keep explaining it. "No" is a complete sentence. When you tell yourself "he's not coming home", do you have to explain it to yourself, or do you know why? He knows why too. Stay out of it, and when he tries to get you involved just say "no". He'll figure it out.

    What has any of this got to do with you? Stop torturing yourself by talking to his PO/PD/therapist etc. It's really none of your business. He's a grown man and you have another child to raise who deserves a lot more from you than they are getting because you are wasting your efforts on difficult child. When he writes letters, just keep telling yourself no. Then it will roll right off your tongue when you actually have to talk to him about it. "No. You're a grown man and you made your own decisions that got you into jail. Figure it out for yourself."

    I say, if he can do it, more power to him. If he fails, too bad. But what does it have to do with you? He's in prison. You're not. End of story.
  9. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Of course it's hard to say no to him!! Perfectly natural! Doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. Just means you're human! :warrior:

    You find yourself still explaining to him, because he doesn't get it! Also, perfectly natural. :winks:You have rescued and enabled your difficult child for years, and he doesn't know about detachment. YOU DO!!

    What I found always helped me in these situations was to look honestly at MY options (not difficult child's)! and then compare how I would feel. Is it better to say NO, and maybe feel guilty, or is it better to say YES, and then be on pins & needles.

    Personally, I don't get the difference between "drug court" and "rehab", but that's just me. I would pull back from the whole deal, and stand firmly on my ground of "He's not coming home to live". I really admire your attitude on that, please keep it up!

  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Let him stand on his own. This is a result of the choices he has made as an adult. You can't rescue him from his own bad decisions. Let go of the guilt. Take all of the things you feel guilt about. Write them on a sheet of paper. Then burn that paper. Get on with your life. He will survive.
  11. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    OK thanks everyone!! I knew I would get good advice here from all of you smart, experienced women. I appreciate the strong words and I appreciate your emailing me back.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He has a lot to prove. Just going to a rehab doesn't mean success or that he'll actually follow through or do what he has to do. You don't need to watch him possibly fail again. I agree, just say "No, I'm not getting involved anymore." He needs to get out on his own and not depend on mom. If there is a chance for him, he needs to want it desparately--it is NOT easy to go straight. You've suffered enough because of his choices. Don't let him **** you in again. A quote from my daughter, who once was a drug addict: "Never trust a druggie." I would take her advice to heart. Make him prove to you that he's going clean, then, once he's off all drugs, you can embrace him.
  13. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Yes Midwest Mom that makes sense along with everyone else. Do you think it would be ok if I just wrote him a letter telling him this - I really dont think I can face him right now - I know what would happen - I hate to say it but it makes knots in my stomach - (another dumb question!) That is what I want to say to him is prove it - just because you have been locked up doesnt mean you are cured! Also he has told me he did drugs in jail and that jail isnt help! How in the world am I supposed to believe he would straighten up at home. Oh no - I have been there and done that too many times - he acts like he doesnt even remember!!!!
  14. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Yes you can certainly tell him all this in a letter!! Don't feel bad about not wanting to face him. Keep a copy of that letter handy, and be able to repeat phrases from it when he calls to argue about your decision.


  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I think this would be a very good idea so long as you don't "explain" it. If you explain it to him that give him permission to try to change your mind. Try this.

    Dear difficult child:

    I'm glad that you are thinking seriously about how you will handle moving on from where you are. Just to clarify, we will not be helping you with this. You are a grown man and we are done being involved in your problems.

    Good luck.

    Love Mom.
  16. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Boy you all are soooooo good! Maybe we could trade places! I will try your advice. thanks
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I think the reason we all (parents) to a degree want to jump in and sort things out for our kids at almost any age is because we are old, more experienced and wiser because we've lived longer and seen a good deal of pain and hurt whether from a distance or right in the middle of it.

    I learned in therapy that a lot of the reasons I never stuck with consequences or gave in to Dude was because it was easier for me. If I said "No playing outside for a week" then he made it intolerable in the house - so I said "In your room for a week" and he made it a disaster and didn't abide by the rules. So I would finally in desperation say "JUST GO PLAY." Thus he didn't learn a thing except that if he pushed my buttons long enough I would eventually give in. And when they are 4 and 5 it may seem okay but it's not, because they are learning a pattern with us as parents. If they push enough - we will cave and they get their way.

    Trying to undo this sort of parenting is harder than the behaviors themselves sometimes. And more frustrating as a parent because you think at (this age) they would have gotten in on a rather LARGE scale - but haven't. What I learned from all that was - the easier I made it on Dude, the more I gave in, the more I thought it was easier to just let whatever happen - the worse I made it for him in the long run and the less actual parenting I did.

    Now at 17 - he's gotten himself into quite a pickle. When I backed off, and stopped solving it all - to make it seemingly easier for ME - I made Dude realize that THIS IS HIS LIFE - and the choices HE makes are his alone - I am there at this stage of the game to say "I love you" and because Dude doesn't have a great understanding of things in general - guide him - but if as long as I continued to pull his hand away from the stove - the older he was before he realized he would get burnt if he didn't listen to me or some other authority figure.

    I'm giving Dude support - but life is teaching him hard lessons. And it's taking it's toll on me - as his Mom, is what it is - and I can't do much to change it for him. He's got to learn someday - and he can't come back here to live. The only way he could ever do that - would be to show me and DF that he ON HIS OWN - has gotten a GED, a job, a car, a little money saved up - and this time? I think that may be his goal - but at least he's got one.

    Ask your son what his goal is - and then ask him what his goal is when you tell him to take you and husband out of HIS equation. It's amazing how drastically it changes for them.

    Does NOT mean I don't love him, does NOT mean I do not support him, does NOT mean I won't offer guidance in the form of words only - but it DOES mean he has ABSOLUTELY worn out his welcome in my home until he does a tremendous amount of growing up ---on his own.

    Hope this makes sense
  18. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Star is does make perfect sense. It is so familiar to me that we could be each other! I feel I have lived what you are living too. I will ask difficult child what his goal is and tell him his option is not coming home until , if ever, I feel he can prove himself to me. It is unbelievable that all this has happened to our family. It is so surreal that we are going through this - all the love we have given. I will say I did the same things that you did. No matter what I took away, it was always worse on me than him and I would finally give in. He knows he can get to me emotionally because I always hated to see him hurt. Now look. Who is hurting now - not because I want to but because I did the best I could. Hang in there. I am anxious to hear fromyou tomorrow.
  19. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I agree.

    One of us posted that the person she needed to look at, when she felt guilty about what she needed to say to her difficult child, was herself.

    I agree so wholeheartedly with that too, Stands.

    It helped me to keep things very simple, and to concentrate on myself, not my son's pain or confusion. In your heart, you know coming home is wrong for your son. I think it is wrong, too. He would need to be much further along in his recovery before he could face those old friends and old habits successfully. That your son cannot see that is, as one of us said, to be expected.

    It is enough Stands, that YOU see it.

    Being the best mother in this situation involves turning your son away ~ for now, it does.

    It helped me to speak the words I did not want to say once I began using the words "drugs" and "addiction" to my son. I also began telling my son that I loved him too much to help him destroy himself. As he continued to spiral down, I learned to say that he was raised better than to do what he was doing.

    No more evading the issue, between my son and myself.

    Your son needs to hear you say that this is not a game, Stands. You feel you have no firm place to stand but you do. YOU ARE RIGHT NOT TO HAVE YOUR SON HOME RIGHT NOW. Until he is further along in his recovery, the risk TO HIM is too great.

    This isn't about the horror having your son home will create in your family ~ though it will. This is about your son's addiction to drugs. If you can truly understand how horrible this addiction is, then you will be able to speak to your son as he needs his mother to speak to him ~ whether that be in person or in a letter.

    He is trapped, Stands.

    Your words may not be able to help your son now ~ but they might be the words that echo through his brain at some future time and make all the difference your son needs to begin walking a different path.

    I think it is right to love our addicted sons, Stands ~ but I think it is crucial that we draw a line, for them, and for ourselves, so that we know how to interact with them.

    I tell my son (not so much, lately ~ there has been a change in my son, recently) that there is nothing funny about what has happened to him. There is nothing good or decent or right about what has happened to him. I tell him he can make it back, but that I cannot help him get there anymore than I could stop him from going there.

    My son knows now what I expect of him.

    He knows I will say those same phrases again and again.

    "Addiction is a horrible thing."

    "I will not help you destroy yourself." (In your son's case, allowing him to come home would be helping him to destroy himself.)

    "You were raised better than to do what you are doing."

    "Coming home is not an option. It has not helped you in the past, and I will not watch you walk down that path again."

    The question under discussion has to be, "How can we find somewhere for you to stay until the center has room for you?"

    That is the only thing you can safely discuss with your son right now I think.

    You need to take the lead on this one, Stands. Your child is trapped, and cannot help himself, cannot help what he is doing, really. Look to the future for him, if he cannot do it on his own.

    The addiction takes precedence.

    Your son is still so young. If he can break the addiction now, he has all the time in the world to create a loving and productive life.

    That is your position of strength, Stands.

    And it will make you strong because it is true.

    You can do this, Stands.

    And we all are right here, whenever you need us.

  20. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Thanks Barbara - what you said is perfect and just what I needed to hear. I know it is true. His coming home would be not successful for his recovery. Sometimes I feel he doesnt understand my thinking on that and I feel he should at least understand. He throws it back in our faces like we just dont want him here - that is not right - if he can prove it we can maybel support him but it has been so long since I have seen any proof of changing. I cant believe anything and that is scary. I did write the letter saying he couldnt come home if he chose drug court and no he couldnt come home on house arrest if he had to sit for rehab. He will not have to sit for rehab according to the ministry man - he laughed when I told him what difficult child said. Thanks for all the encouragement - I know I will need it.