New member here

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by believe, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. believe

    believe New Member

    Hi ...I am new to this site and cannot stop reading...I think I may be in an old thread but not sure how to start a new one......just reading about other parents out there like myself has given me a sense of peace I haven't had in a long time....My son is 26 and for the last 10 years I have also lived this nightmare....he smokes weed...does pills...and only Gods knows what else.....but I have a little different scenario....that being he has held several jobs...quite good ones....that have all ended either in him being fired or he quits....He even enrolled in trade school which gave me the most hope but that too sadly ended in him dropping out....He seems to want to be a different person and tries and starts out good but never finishes anything.....He has a bad bad anger problem and over the years his rage became something he could not control even though he wanted to....he has had his own apt a few times and it even looked as though he was making progress...writing his own rent check...elec bill check...cable check....he came to me countless times in the last 10 years for extra money which i "gladly" gave to him because he "seemed" to be doing ok...and all along he was buying weed and pills....we took him back into our house about a year ago because he came here crying "real tears" because his gilfriend broke up with him so we gave in helped him break his lease...our family all went and painted his apt and we allowed him back to live in the basement....after about 6 months we began to see the same pattern of not going to work which resulted in him getting fired....he moved out into a new girlfriends house and the decision was made that we would not longer allow him back here to live...we told him are always welcome to dinner and to visit but you now MUST live on your own....when he and the new girlfriend broke up we found him sleeping out front of our house several times in his car...I got up looked out the window and went back to sleep...did not allow him in...the final straw came when he tried to break in our front door and we had no choice but to call the police.....He now lives with his father and blames me for all his problems.....It has taken me 10 years and thousands of dollars to understand that I am NOT his my knowledge he might be working part time...I can only hope and pray this true......I will always for the rest of my days on this earth carry him in my heart but I am no longer manipulated by him.....I have 3 other grown children who all get up and go to work everyday....hopefully their younger brother will do the same one day soon....if I sound somewhat "detached" I am.....It is solely a survival mechanism....what I have learned is this...he was always looking for a reaction from took alot of years but now my reaction is ALWAYS the same - I love you and hope you are doing well...I pray for you everyday and I KNOW God has a wonderful plan for your life...I have faith you will find it......thats it no more pity or falling into whatever other reaction he is trying to get out of me...oh and I might add that I am the only person he does this to......he is 26 years is his time to find his own way...he can make of his life what he wants to...his choice it wrong that I feel free?????
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  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Believe!!

    I am so glad you are here with us. You have come a long way. Good for you in taking your life back and saying no to your son.

    It would be great if you added a signature. You will see mine at the end of my post as well as many other members at the end of their posts. It helps us to remember who is who and what their story is. Look in the upper right of the screen where your screen name is and click on it, then click on the information tab. If you need help just ask.

    I think you will have much to offer others who are also on this journey.

    No, it is not wrong to feel free. You deserve to live your life free from the chaos of a Difficult Child. You deserve to be happy.
    (to quote someone, highlight what you want and a little box will come up, click on reply)

    I am successfully detached from my son and I live my life to the fullest. I do not feel any guilt or regret. I know that I have done everything I can to offer him help to get his life on track. It was a relief and very freeing to finally accept that he was going to live his life the way he wanted to and not the way I wanted him to.

    I like you will always love my son but will no longer allow him to manipulate me.

    Yes, feeling free is good!!

  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Welcome Believe...

    Your story sounds so much like my story with my son, who is now doing so much better. He was fired from many jobs, and was homeless some 5 different times for long periods of time, was in jail 8 or 9 times. As you undoubtedly know, addiction is a progressive disease and it just gets worse and worse and worse until the person gets help and treatment and decides to turn his/her life around. The progression of bad times, punctuated by better times (most of which I enabled mightily so who knows how much was even him?) was an endless merry go round of hope and crushing lows.

    Finally, like you, I learned how to detach with love and work on my own life, instead of my sole focus in life being his life and trying to get him straightened out.

    At some point, I was completely sick and tired and completely powerless and I finally admitted it. That was a very good day of sitting still and recognizing that i had tried everything under the shining sun and things were actually worse.

    I was able to learn that what i had done had not only not helped, but it had delayed him hitting his own rock bottom (seems like there were multiple bottoms) and facing himself without a screen or a mask that I created for him.

    I read and read and listened in Al-Anon and worked hard, and finally I started to change my own thinking and behavior, with a lot of backslides and then in time, I came through the worst part of the grief, even though he was still on the street and his life was still really bad, and I started to feel happy again, regardless.

    It took a lot of time, like it sounds like it has for you, but I finally got this: I can't live my son's life for him. It is HIS life to live, and his decisions are his decisions, and the consequences are also his. That doesn't mean I didn't love him fiercely through it all and prayed harder than I have ever prayed in my life, and I was finally able to shut my mouth and just say: Oh. I love you. That sounds hard. I'm sure you will figure it out. I love you. Call me again honey. I hope that works out. I don't know. I love you.

    It took me a long, long time to get there.

    No. I believe you have reclaimed your own life and you have realized your own worth separate from the person you brought into the world---your son. We gave birth to them and that is a mighty bond but there comes a time to let people go, our DCs and our PCs (perfect children, tongue in cheek) and all other people and just let go of other people's outcomes, all other people. We can't do a single thing about any of it anyway, and never could, but it was a distraction from ourselves to think so.

    Working on ME Is a full time job. I want a great life. It sounds like you do too. I call this my 51%/49% rule. I am 51%. Others are 49%. This is counter-cultural, especially for women---the Great Caretakers---but I value me today. Finally.

    We're glad you're here. Keep sharing. It sounds like you have a lot to give and we welcome your ideas and insights here.
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  4. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, Believe

    I'm glad that you know that there is nothing that you can do to fix your son.

    If fact, if you are the only person that he can manipulate (often the case with moms) then staying at your house is the worst thing for him and you. He just falls back into that destructive pattern, and so do you.

    Blaming you for all his problems? Sounds like just another manipulation. Don't fall for it.

    Stay with us. It helps.

  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello Believe, (Not "Wavering" as I responded to that old post) Welcome to our little corner of the internet, so sorry that you had to find your way here, but, nonetheless-welcome!

    Your name shows your strength Believe. Believe in yourself, believe in your value, believe, what a nice name.
    Ten years is a long time. I think that is how a lot of us transitioned from our mothering in to enabling, if our D c's started out with troubles as teenagers, we were on the journey with them from the beginning, trying our darndest to fix whatever was broken. Sucked in to the vortex, detaching can be difficult, feeling more like abandonment at times. You sound like you have done very well in putting your foot down-that is awesome. Our children as they grow in to adults are completely responsible for their choices.
    This is good Believe, you and your hubby did the right thing. Our daughters thought nothing of breaking in to our house through the screens. If we had trusted them, they would have had keys.Looking back, we should have put a stop to this immediately. Several screens and many years later, we have finally cut the cord. I am glad that you came to realization much sooner and saved yourself the misery.
    Blame/guilt. My D c's played this game. I fell for it, for many years, knowing I had made mistakes (who doesn't?) and taking advantage of my apologetic nature. An old Tahitian friend
    had a simple saying "NO Blame." He said it all the time. Reflecting back, those two words have much meaning. "Take responsibility for your own actions." "NO Blame." Ten years of trying. Yup, been there, done that, DONE.
    Detached is good, Believe. Even if our adult children are doing well, detached is good. Our children as grown adults are supposed to be off on their own, living their lives. I love your reaction, it is perfect. I have come to realize that when our D c's are busy blaming us for everything under the sun, it prevents them from looking in the mirror. They need to focus on their own choices and the resulting consequences in order to want to make a different path.

    You are absolutely correct, your son can find his own way, and must. We will not be around forever to pick up the pieces.
    Even if we did continue to rescue them, they would somehow find a way to still resent us for it, yes?

    Adult children on drugs are chaotic, highs so high, and lows so low. Living with denial, desperation, degradation, ugh, so demoralizing. No time to breath, one crazy episode after another, living in the --now what?????

    It is not wrong to feel free. I feel the same way.

    It is not so much that we are free of our D c's. they will always be our children, we are free from the chains of their addiction and addictive personalities. Free from the whirlwind of emotions they dredge up from deep within our mother hearts.

    A blessed peacefulness has enveloped my house. I hope the same for you, Believe.

    It sounds like you have achieved that.

  6. believe

    believe New Member

    Good morning to all of you new is 5 am on saturday morning...yes good sleep somehow still eludes me...working on that...the quiet of the night causes me to "wonder" if he's ok still....we will always be mothers i suppose.... mothers who's hearts are ravaged as we have been forces to save ourselves because we couldn't save our kids....anyway I have this struggle which I did not share....and I have not been able to get free of.....when my son was 8 yrs. old I had an affair which ultimately ended up in me leaving his father (I would have left him was a difficult marriage for years...hence the affair) .....I ended up marrying the man i had the affair with oddity isn't it??? That almost never happens...we fell incredibly deeply in love and have been married for 15 yrs....but here's what I can't get past....Is THAT the cause for my sons problems.....I have 3 other kids all living on their own .....working.....married.....they were hurt by me and their dad not making it but they somehow survived it...but my son (hes the youngest) did's my question to everyone....would my son have been ok if i had not left his dad? haunts me.....yes I have been able to detach from his behavior but the question leaves me feeling responsible alot of the time...what if I was still with his dad..would he be ok? I want so desperately to get past this and I am trying hard...Has anyone else ever faced anything like this?? Believe
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Believe,

    My Dad had a favorite saying "It is what it is."

    So simple and yet so complex.

    If we all looked back in our lives and tried to find answers to why our adult children make the choices they do, we could all find plenty of ammo for them to shoot back at us as to reasons why they are what they are.

    Why do I write this? Because we are all HUMAN! We all make mistakes. Life can be hard sometimes, full of ups and downs, twists and turns. We are all trying to make our way.

    If we could turn back the hands of time and make things different, we probably would. But we can't.

    My husband and I went through some very rough times. It was hell for all of us. We still go through rough times. My two probably blame me for staying.

    If I left, they would blame me for leaving.

    The road our children choose as adults is their road.

    Do our pasts influence us all, shape us all? Yes. It is up to us all as individuals to take what we have experienced, the good with the bad, find the meaning of it and live our lives with purpose.

    Don't be so hard on yourself dear. The struggle we have watching our children stumble and fall is pain enough. We recount our lives and say, what if I did this, or that, would it be different?

    I don't think so. I think when our adult children fall by the wayside with drugs, and get stuck, it is because they have addictive tendencies. They will tell us, "Its because you did this, or you did that". The problem is, while they are looking at us, blaming us, they are not looking in the mirror, trying to understand themselves, so they can get out of the hole they dig themselves into.

    My history is different from yours. I went through the same recounting and fell into the guilt trap. It kept me in the enabling game for far too long.

    I can't change the past. I am sorry for the mistakes I made.

    It is up to my adult children to want a better life, to look towards their future.

    You had a troubled marriage. You found the love of your life.

    The cause of your sons problems are the choices he is making.

    I am sorry for what you are going through. It is very, very tough.

    You are on the right track with giving your son his wings to fly, letting him find his way through this.

    The gift you can give yourself is focusing on you and living your life to the fullest.

  8. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Ah, those sleepless nights... yes I'm awake with you most morning between 3 and 5. My mind seems to work in a different way in the middle of the night, as if the logical, sensible thought processing button is stuck on 'catastrophise' between those hours. As soon as the alarm goes off and I have to get up I'm ready to fall back into a deep peaceful sensible sleep.

    I split with my son's father when he was 15. It's a long story, but both my children have told me that they wished I'd left earlier, which is a bit ironic as I only stayed so long for their sakes. I think if you were unhappy in your marriage, then staying could have been more damaging to your children than following your heart. I wish I had got out and taken my children away from the situation when they were much younger. I think as mothers we blame ourselves and beat ourselves up no matter what decisions we've made along the way.

    You ask these questions that are impossible to answer:

    Who knows. I would say "probably not".

    You could just as easily ask these questions:

    "would I have been ok if I'd stayed with his dad?"

    "would my son have been ok if I wasn't ok?"

    I often feel guilty for marrying my son's father in the first place and for bringing children into this troubled world. The question I mostly ask myself is:

    "what the hell was I thinking?"
  9. believe

    believe New Member

    nlj and new leaf...your words have truly given me the power and ability to allow myself to be a "human" ...thank you....this morning for the first time I have entertained the possibility that I'm not the sole cause of all of this....I feel like I'm walking out of a deep deep black hole...all of my other kids have said to me that the fighting between their dad and me was all they coming to an understanding that my youngest may have blamed me even if I had stayed is freeing to say the least.....and the question you posed "would I have been ok if I had stayed with his dad"...well the answer to that is a resounding NO.......I do know this I did everything right for my kids when I left the marriage.....I kept them in their school around their already existing friends and made sure they were more important to me than my new marriage so on some level I know that my youngest just maybe didn't have the ability to turn that situation into something that could possibly have made him a stronger better person....there is some weakness in my son that I cannot figure out.....he has lost two girlfriends (nice girls...although not without their own issues and problems ...which seems to be the girls he goes after....but lost both bc of not working .....and his behavior and constantly blaming them and not himself)....I saw just yesterday that he wrote of fb again a long rant towards one of them blaming her and not himself for the break up) Her answer was grown men shouldn't need to supported....and I wanted to scream at him LISTEN TO HER.......He is now living with his father bc he will never be to allowed to live with me again...well let me take that back (never say never)...if any of my children or stepchildren are hardworking self supporting but have fallen on a hard time they are always welcome in our home until they recover but they can't use my house as revolving door bc they are lazy an don't/won't work....I've worked my whole life...I come from a family of working father held 3 jobs to provide for our family....I just don't get you think that smoking pot and taking pills and then being so out of it that you can't get up for work the next day is just a crutch being used so he can be lazy??? husband (his stepdad) cannot even watch this anymore...he is a stage 4 cancer survivor (70 yrs old) and still gets up everyday and builds additions, decks, etc....he says working saved him.....he thinks my son is weak and lazy....omg is he right??? or is my son mentally ill????...anyway I'm just typing thoughts now....thanks for the wonderful support...Believe
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Good morning believe...I remember torturing myself with this relentless question: what in the world is wrong with him? Addiction? Mental illness? Did something happen to him I don't know about? Shy? Lazy? Immature? The thoughts would swirl around and around forever in my head.

    Finally what helped put it to rest for me was this: look at the behavior and let that be the guide.

    We know that nothing can be treated until addiction is treated and arrested. So if drug use is present, and I personally count pot use in that definition, it really doesn't matter.

    And regardless, we can fix another person or make another person want treatment or get treatment.

    This is a backward way of looking at this also helped break through my thinking: why in the world would I think I would have enough influence or power over even my own son that I could ruin him or save him? When our kids "turn out" well it's not because we made it happen. Sure we have influence but there are many many influences in each of our lives.

    And we all know the stories of people who have awful childhoods who turn out fantastic and vice versa. Through work on me, I was able to let go of any guilt I may have fostered that I in any way caused this by any of my actions.

    My husband and I divorced when Difficult Child was entering his junior year of hs. Was this a factor in his decline? Yes it likely was. Was it the cause? No. My sons genetic code was written well before that action and his journey was Apparent as early as his struggle with colic for nine months. He was always struggling.

    We just are not that powerful and I find that reality a fact that I cannot deny.
  11. believe

    believe New Member

    childofmine...thank you for your thoughts....I devoured the idea that I did not /cannot ruin or save him....also let the behavior be the guide...also I think there were signs long before his dad and I got divorced.....the calming affect this has on me is beyond words and the endless questions that I have for sooooo long are calming down...blaming ones self is like carrying around a ball and chain...i think my son is who he is and I am now finally allowing him to search and rescue and find the better part of himself....I know its there....thank you for word thoughts and ideas...Believe
  12. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Leafy, COM, NLJ,

    Your words are so beautiful, so comforting. Both for Believe and for others. Thank you for putting your hearts out there.

    Believe, you are not alone. Many people are divorced, including me (TTL best thing that ever happened to me).

    This is just a tactic he is using to get sympathy and a reason to absolve himself of the responsibility of making something of his life. Don't let him do this.
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you Believe, nlj, COM, Apple, and everyone on this site. Through the sharing of our stories, our hurts, our hearts, we can find the strength to heal. I am most fortified and grateful to have found this soft place.
    It puts so much in perspective, in the crazy, scary nightmare our Adult children have put themselves in.

    They are the captains of their ships, if they choose to sail into the tempest, we do not have to go with them.

    We can and must remain on the shore, and live our lives, and hope that one day, they will find their way through the storm.

    Until then, we can chart our own course, captain our own vessels and sail to the horizon of our future, and it is bright and beautiful.

    By accepting this, living thusly, we show them, they can have a bright, beautiful future too.
  14. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    sometime during my first year on the forum some one wrote something along the lines of "if all of your love and sacrifice and grief and guilt and effort could have saved him he would have been saved a 1000 times over by now."

    That was one of those moments that set me free.

    He has to save himself.

    I do understand that now.

    I'm glad you are here. I hope you gain the same strength from this wonderful crowd of parents and friends that I did. I am so much better now.


  15. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    The witching hours. I can't count the number of times I've looked over at the clock and it says 3am. It used to make me angry -- not it's just plain comical. I've read a biological theory for why this might happen. Long term stress leads to adrenal fatigue. Several hours after you go to sleep cortisol starts to plummet and adrenaline takes over -- basically, kicking in the fright, fight, flight response -- hence, our most catastrophic thoughts. It was also the time when my suspicions and worst instincts would plague my mind. And I could never think my way out of it. It helped when I read that theory -- maybe it wasn't my intuitive gift (or curse) waking me up to face some truth I buried during the day. It was just a time when my body was less equipped to stay strong. So, I now I just play games on the ipad.