Need clarity on this situation; stealing and lying and rehab

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Origami, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Happy New Year! (despite our struggles--)

    I'm writing because of some new developments in the drama involved with my heroin-addicted son who I mentioned just entered residential rehab after Christmas. We were happy about that, hoping things would finally start to get better. It seems, however, that thievery has now been added to the mix.

    My husband and I talked to our middle son by phone on Sunday. He works in a remote area of another country doing volunteer work, and we only get to talk to him every few weeks. We had sent him his new credit card (he keeps us as his U.S. mailing address), which had a $0 balance and he was going to use it on a trip he was taking. He asked if we had happened to use his card for anything before we sent it to him. We hadn't. He said that a $500 cash advance was taken from it in early November at a convenience store near our house. The only other person besides us and our youngest son, who is decidedly honest, who had access to the card was you-know-who. I had activated the card previously, and must have left it along with the PIN on my desk. My middle son is going to try to dispute the charges, but we don't know yet if that will be successful.

    Then yesterday, my youngest son discovered that his guitar was missing from his closet. This is a guitar that his grandmother (my mother) had bought for him a few years ago, so it had sentimental as well as monetary value. He rarely plays it, so doesn't know how long it's been gone. He's quite upset about it.

    So these two incidents are disturbing, and I guess we were all too trusting since he hadn't stolen anything from us since he was in high school over 10 years ago. He has a history of lying, but I thought he was over that, also. However, about a month ago he borrowed our car (with my permission) to go to a doctor's appointment, and didn't return until the next morning. The car reeked of marijuana. He claimed he was held up at gunpoint by two strangers, who drove the car around, smoked weed in it, and then returned it to him. Supposedly they had taken his cell phone, which is why he couldn't call us all night, and then returned that also. He later told his younger brother that the whole story was a lie, but he was driving around with his drug dealers all night. I confronted him later and said I didn't believe his story, but he still said it was the truth.

    I talked to my husband after these latest discoveries, and he said, "Yes, our son has a problem. Addiction will make you do things like that. But let's hope this rehab does the trick." He's just way too low-key about it in my opinion. But I'm thinking, we need to decide right now that he's not coming back to live with us! I'm done being sympathetic to our son, and feel like he's abused our trust by lying to us and stealing things from his brothers. I was up last night thinking about how to secure the few other valuable items in our household if he comes back, like my laptop and a bit of jewelry. It's so disappointing, and I feel like I need to be the bad guy and convince my husband that we shouldn't let him live with us again. I just think it would be easier to cut the cord now instead of letting him come back and get comfortable again.

    Of course, husband will argue that we shouldn't pull the rug out from under him when he's just getting out of rehab, and that we need to give him a chance to make amends and prove himself and get back on his feet again. Ugh--who's right in this situation, and why does this all have to be so difficult?
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    And returned the cell phone because you know thieves are just like that. What a pile of hog
    I am in the same boat as you needing to make a decision about allowing our drug addicted, lying, thieving son to live with us after rehab or not. Not an easy decision. I don’t have any answers for you. I do feel the theft needs to be addressed and he needs to own it and his lies. I hope that can happen throughout the rehab process for you and also for me.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I would have pulled his rug out years ago. He is a heroin addict, nearing 30 and with kids. He can live in a halfway house.y kid would have been talking to the police.

    Your son is a hardcore addict. in my opinion he could never come to my home gain. It isn't helping him and it's a terrible example for his kids to see. You can visit him on a full coffee house where he has no access to your thiings. Jmo
  4. RN0441

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


    I agree that he should NOT be allowed to live with you after rehab.

    He's too damned old!

    How long do you want to be doing this?

    He need to grow up and if you don't stop enabling him he never will.

    Stay strong. It's the best thing for him to be on his own.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry Origami, but ... ditto.

    It's not just that he's nearing 30. It's not just that he's an addict. It's not even the stealing and lying - but everything together...doesn't add up to a good living situation. How long is the rehab? If it's only 30 days, he needs to be told soon. If it's several months, then there is some time for him to get a handle on things and make plans. But in any event, I'd have to confront him about the missing guitar and the charge card...and also about the prior lie about the car. Come on - he really expects you to believe that? Car-jackers with guns who just brought him back his cell phone and car when they were done joy-riding. Uh huh.

    I'd also make him tell you where he pawned the guitar.

    I likely wouldn't press charges - heck, I DIDN'T press charges when my son stole from us - but I would have to tell him that he should be grateful he wasn't going to jail for theft and he would need to have another place to live. A sober living house or something.

    I understand your husband's feelings...but this might just be too much for me. And after all, with his addiction, is coming back to your house - where he's been drugging all along - really best for him anyway?
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  6. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    The rehab is only for 30 days, and he's been there about a week now.

    We won't press charges either, since at this point there's no way to prove anything. I asked my daughter-in-law (his wife) to ask him where he pawned the guitar when she talks to him again. He's been calling her every day from rehab.

    I thought about, if my husband is totally against having him move out immediately, telling my son he can sleep on the couch for a few days until he figures out where he's going. He's been in the middle bedroom, making it his own with a computer, etc. but moved most of his things down to the basement before he left for rehab. But then, I think it might be best just to "pull off the bandaid" so to speak and get this over with.
  7. RN0441

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

    Is there any hope that he can reconcile with his wife?

    Honestly if my son were married I would think it would be up to him and his wife to "figure it out" rather than parent involvement.

    I would be afraid he would not make as much of an effort saving his marriage if he has parents to fall back on.

    I don't know your son but that would be my worry.
  8. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    I know this is serious, but this

    I couldn’t help but laugh, reminds me of when Difficult Child daughter got caught with her grandmother’s jewelry in her purse and said she found it at the bus stop.

    Anyhow, he’s better off not living at your house. Let the rehab find him a structured setting. All he’ll do at your house is start back where he left off.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Are you housing wife too?

    I suggest strongly that you read the book "Codependent No More" by Melody Beatty. You are trying to save EVERYONE. In this process, nobody is changing for the better and growing up. All of these rescues, financial help, and attempts to give second third and fourth chances to ten year addict son have done nothing for him. This sort of help doesn't help. Your son is an addict for over ten years. Your daughter in law is dependent on you. No job?? Your grandkids are your responsibility too, I guess. One son volunteers in another country...where does he get money? Another son has to live in this mess. His guitar was stolen and brother gets away with it. Is this one old enough to move out?Don't you think it's a bad idea for grandchildren to interact in same home as heroin addict father? They know what their father is.

    Is it your husband who won't see the truth?

    Are you all in therapy?

    Your son will come out of rehab still an addict. Heroin is hard to kick. What point is there in bringing him to your house to steal and behave badly in front of entire family? Make him clean for two years before you even let him in your house to steal.

    Somebody has to take a brave step toward ending this unhealthy enmeshment. You can't live forever. Then what?

    I hope you take steps to change so that this sickness of all can start to heal. Therapy, Al Anon, anything except one big Codependent family wrapped around an addict who still steals from his family. It takes bold steps to change. If you don't change your need to care for everyone, things will stay as is or get worse as grandkids get older and likely also turn to what they know best..drug use and family tolerance of it. It is their normal. Dad gets sympathy, no consequences. They know this. Mother is helpless. They know this. Where is a strong role model?

    I wish you strength. With all my heart. This needs to end or it won't.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  10. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    No, she has her own apartment with her kids.

    She's working full time, taking care of the kids. She's been supporting her whole family, including our son, except for the few times he's managed to have a job here and there.

    He's in the Peace Corps, so has his own income and has always been self-sufficient. He put himself through college and I really don't worry about him. However, this theft was a low blow since he doesn't make a lot of money.

    I agree, but I think my husband thinks this rehab will be the one thing that turns it around for our son. I think it's a step in the right direction, but probably not the end-all-be-all.

    I think they still have a connection, and are still talking at least, although she is understandably fed up with the lack of support from him. Maybe there's hope of reconciliation. She had been trying to depend on him to at least watch the kids while she was at work, but he was spotty on that job, also. He's very good with the kids when he's not high, but of course not so good when he is.
  11. RN0441

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


    I know you love him very much and want what is best for him and his family.

    Do you see a therapist for yourself and/or with hubby? Maybe to help you set boundaries with him would be helpful. To be on the same page.

    It's hard for us to set boundaries because we are moms. I had to get help for that myself. I knew that my son needed them too. I don't know where we'd all be right now if I hadn't found this site and gotten help to be stronger in all of this.

    I knew I had to stop the cycle we were in; that's all I knew. Honestly I didn't know anyone else dealing with this until I found the wonderful people here that had so much knowledge. It's a very lonely place to be not knowing what to do or what is best. Or if I should even do anything at all.

    I kind of analyze everything and it seemed to me that whatever I'd normally do for a typical son I should not do for my son who had a substance abuse problem. It always seemed I needed to do the opposite of what my initial knee jerk reaction would be. That's a hard lesson to learn though; for me it was.
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  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am glad everyone doesn't live with you.

    I question mom's judgment giving him any contact with the kids since he still uses drugs.

    I hope you can help him by pulling back and realizing that this son is a rock hard addict who is not responding to coddling. He is stealing from your other kids. He is around 30. At this rate, he may never quit. Most of the addicts here are MUCH younger than your son. Wife should not take son back...he is a heroin addict. I hope she doesn't go back to him Over ten years of month of rehab is unlikely to make even a dent. He needs long term plus sober living. At least. This habit can and likely eventually will kill him right under your nose. You seem to be in denial of the severity of this. I don't want to sound mean...this is a desperate situation that can not go on forever and will not end well if he doesn't stop. I am sorry.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Origami, I think the only thing more painful than telling a child he is no longer welcome in your home would be having them die. At least, I felt that way when I put our son out of our home. I felt like it would kill me, I truly did. I felt that I had failed somehow; I was a horrible person, a horrible mother. Gosh, I'm getting teary just writing this. But I was right to make him leave. Mine did not have the addiction problem yours has - but other than the substance the actions were similar. No steady work, unreliable, lies, deceit, stealing...Same song to a different beat.

    In the end, it was best for everyone involved that he was made to leave, no matter how much it hurt and no matter how much I wanted to hold him and make him all better...and when he left entirely and had to make his own way, that was when things began to change a little.

    Is there any kind of halfway house, sober living facility, or something? Surely the rehab has some kind of assistance. If nothing else, coming back to the same place where he's been drugging all along will not help him stay sober. Try to impress that on your husband - and on your son if he balks and gets whiney and starts the "What will I do?" that can probably be expected. You've mentioned him OD'ing before. He is in real danger unless he changes a LOT. It's best for everyone if he goes elsewhere.

    You are in my prayers.
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  14. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel


    This is not easy stuff to deal with and when you and your husband are not on the same page that can be difficult. I know first hand because that was me and my husband for a few years. We are now unified in the f omg with our Difficult Child and it helps tremendously. I agree with all the advice you have been given here. I do hope you find what can help to. Take what you need and leave the rest.

    I agree with this. When my son gets angry that we outback him out of our house or had him arrested I reiterate this very philosophy. I would never allow anyone else to do what he did so I won’t allow him to do these things to us or in our house either.

    I agree. Good when not high is great but exposing them to an addict active in using is not healthy.

    lol this is so well put. I neve thought I could cry my eyes shut but when I put my son out and he chose to drug and steal vs stay in a shelter and seek help; it almost killed me. He did gave the consequences of his actions and it was the path he needed to take. I do hope that his long term in patient rehab program is successful. I’d it isn’t he won’t be welcome home. As hard as that is I refuse to enable my son or be a victim of his abuse.
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  15. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Have you searched for sober Oxford House? They are self governed and I know none of the addicts there would believe his bs about drug dealers driving the car around...

    My teen tried something like that...eventually I found the pipe that was wedged between the seat! Of course, it must have fallen out of the pocket of a coworker who needed a ride... More bs.
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  16. RN0441

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

    When my son was in his last rehab in Illinois he knew he could not come home and his therapist there helped him find sober living.

    He was only 20 and I felt terrible but I just knew he would not be successful coming home. I wouldn't let him come home BECAUSE I loved him so much. I knew I was doing the best thing for him. Yes he has struggled but for now he is on a good path and wanting to change his life - which is all I ever hoped for.

    There are definitely resources there for them after rehab. YOU and YOUR home are not the only option.

    None of us have the answers but we are trying to give you some guidance. Take what helps and leave the rest.

    Good luck with your decision.
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The reason I was a bit harsh (so sorry) is that I truly fear for your son's life. What you have been doing isn't motivating him to truy quit. If not for you, he would just be a junkie on the street. As awful as this sounds to any mother, it may be the only thing to make him so miserable that he decides to quit. Or not. But living with you, no police when he steals etc. is not changing anything.

    I disagree that age is not important for a few reasons. A very young man has not been at this lifestyle and his body has not been abused for so long. He can recover. The longer the addict uses, the more his mind and body suffer.

    I personally don't think he should be alone with his kids even if sober when he first arrives. He can start out sober then get high, even OD when he is supposed to be watching them. Heroin is a killer.

    I am sorry if I sounded critical.
  18. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    I talked to my husband last night and asked him what his thoughts were about our son after rehab. He said he didn't think he'd be coming back to our house, and was under the impression that he would seek housing assistance through the rehab center. He said he doesn't want him living with us again. So I guess we were more on the same page than I thought we were.

    I asked my son's wife to ask him where he pawned the guitar when she talked to him last night. She said he told her he hasn't seen the guitar and didn't take it anywhere. I expected him to deny it, but was hoping he'd tell the truth. Next, I'll ask him about the $500 cash advance and give him a chance to lie about that one. My husband wondered why I'm bothering asking him about these when I know he'll deny it, and I just said I want to let him know that we know, whether he'll admit it or not.

    I found a Nar-Anon group I can go to, so will try to get there next week. Husband can't go because of his work schedule, but he's open to my ideas. I've been telling him about all the advice from you guys, and he's appreciative although would never go on a forum himself.

    SWOT, don't worry about being harsh! I'm used to you by now :) and your advice is always welcome. And thanks to everyone else for the good advice. I feel more confident now that we won't be abandoning him if we don't house him again, but rather letting his decisions play out.
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  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Lol I'm glad you are used to me!
  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Origami you’ve received very good advice from replies here. I am glad you talked with your husband and found out you are on the same page.
    I have pretty much been through the ringer with my two daughters. Tornado is nearing 30, Rain, 38. I don’t trust either of them, they are both addicts and as far as I know, actively using. Which of course means if and when they come around here, I have to be on my toes. Purse locked in the car, etc.
    That being stated, I am so sorry for all you have been through. It’s tough stuff for us Moms. Oh, the stories I have been told, heirlooms long gone, it was and is, a never ending saga.
    I have found that having my two in my home is not possible. Not only for me, but for them, too. They just don’t get any better.
    You and your husband deserve peace in your home. I am working hard at that, and finding joy, despite whatever my two are doing. Which is hard, because we all want the best for our kids, no matter how old they are. If we put our lives on hold, waiting for them to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee, we might not get a chance to have the best rest of our lives before our number is up.
    After years of dealing with this, and hubs passing, I’ve decided that what I really wish my two would do- take care of themselves, I need to do as well.
    I can’t make them do it, they make their own choices, but I can do my utmost to model self care.
    2018 is here, sheesh, the years are marching by so quickly.
    Please be very kind to yourself and take care.
    I am glad you will check out Nar-Anon. Do everything you can to build your toolbox. Know that you are not alone.
    Wishing you strength and peace of mind.
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