New Thread...Same Story

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Roxona, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I've been reading off and on for a while, but really haven't been too involved with this community, but today I need to make a big decision.

    My son is a substance abuser. I believed he started in his mid-teens, but things didn't really start cooking until he turned 18. I bought him his first vehicle, and he quickly lost his mind from the freedom and the increased opportunities for drug use. My son's drug of choice was pot, but quickly became meth.

    After he graduated he started to become more and more agitated, and he started raging every time he was confronted. Finally, after he refused to handle his problem, my husband (his stepdad) kicked him out of the house. That day my son decided to go to inpatient rehab for 35 days. When he got back in August, things were much better. I got him a job through a friend, and he started working full time. We sold his truck (because it was a trigger) and bought him a car, which we will pay off many, many years from now. He opened up to me and told me things that happened to him during the last couple of years. Some of it involves my family and is so heartbreaking, I can hardly bear it. He was involved heavily with dealing and has been involved with the law in various incidents. I helped him with the first one because it involved felony charges (and will be paying for it for years), but have not helped with him with any of the others. All charges have been dismissed.

    On 02/03 he quit his job. While he was working he was paying his car note and insurance. Now he will not be able to do that. He owes me money for having maintenance done to the car, for gas and for a few other incidentals. I helped him do his taxes, and he was to pay off a lot of what he owed.

    Today, he is agitated, his brain is scrambled and is exhibiting a lot of the same symptoms he had prior to going to rehab. I confronted him. He admits to smoking pot, but denies meth. I don't believe him. His face is gaunt, and he has new acne. He says he received his state refund, but not his federal refund. He still has not found a job, and I do not believe he is actually putting in any new applications in the last week. We discussed options for going to trade school and he rejected every option. After he left me exasperated, I logged into the checking account we share...he has received both refunds and has blown through all the money in just a few short days. He lied to me...again.

    So, here comes the hard part. What to do? I know I have to take away the car, and stop giving him money, but what do I do after that? I have a hard time kicking him out of the house because he has no where to go, and anyone that would take him in will probably only be a bad influence. I am his only support system. If I give up on him, he will most likely give up on himself completely.

    So, please, if you have any ideas or suggestions or support....or even a cure...I would very much appreciate it.

  2. RN0441

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

    Roxona: My heart goes out to you and I don't have any answers but I know the wonderful people here will. You can read my story - my 20 year old son is in detox right now so I get it. I am my son's only support also and he has no friends and we may send him to a shelter if this doesn't work so I am not far from where you are. Prayers to us moms.
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Roxana....My heart goes out to you too. Ok so yes take away the car and don't give him money. The car because if he is driving while on drugs he could kill someone.... And you know that any money you give him will go to drugs.

    After that I think the first thing is to get support for yourself. This group is great of course.... But if you can find a good support group for parents, such as alanon that can be very helpful.

    I think then the important thing to know is you can't control this. You didn't cause it and you can't cure it. So kicking hm out is not going magically make him get better. So what is it like having him live with you? Is it tolerable or is his behavior intolerable? To me that is what you look at? Look at his behavior while living with you and how it affects you. If he is stealing from you or making you feel unsafe in your house, or putting you at legal risk then there is your answer. If living with him is tolerable and kicking him out is going to add a lot of stress and angst to your life then that might be your answer.

    There is no right or wrong here. The thing to look at is what makes you feel most comfortable and most at peace?

    Just so you know I have had my son live on the street and it was very very hard on me.... It was the right thing at the time but I sure hope to avoid it again and I might not be able to because in the end it is not up to me.
  4. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    My son is rarely at home. He doesn't like to be here. I remarried a couple of years ago, and he has never felt comfortable. My husband has five children, but only the youngest two live with us. SS10 is a difficult child and causes a lot of stress in our house. My son doesn't like being around him. When he is here, he's usually quiet, spending the majority of his time in his room. He won't eat meals with us anymore, but will sometimes watch a movie with us after the younger boys have gone to bed. He'll come to talk with me from time to time when he know I'm alone or ask me to come outside or go to my room to talk. He hasn't raged at me since rehab, so I would say that he's okay to live with.

    He did, however, steal $40 from me recently. I let him use my ATM card to get money for dinner for him and the boys and he decided to double dip. He denied it at first, but I called him on it and he eventually admitted it and said he would pay me back, which he hasn't due to my post above. Nothing has gone missing from the house, but I do feel I have to keep my purse with me or locked up in my room. I had my husband put a key lock on our bedroom door quite a while ago, but it wasn't for my son. It was to keep SS10 out because he kept picking the regular bedroom door lock, so he could get into things in our room.

    I have read where people are able to "lovingly detach" from their difficult children. I've been trying to do that with my son and SS10, but it's hard for me to follow through. I stay home to keep the house up and help the children with their school work, so I'm primarily the one all of the boys spend time with.

    How do you successfully "lovingly detach?" How do you accept them for who they are knowing it's going to turn very, very bad for them if they continue with their poor choices and bad behavior?
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    roxanna, meth was my daughter's drug of choice (along with other speed) when she used. She has since quite over ten years now (there is hope). But I do recognize meth behavior. First of all, they rage and CAN get psychotic from meth. Sometimes it lasts. My daughter got terrible skin. It can ruin teeth and usually the user loses lots of weight. What to do?

    I think you have the right ideas. You take the car. We did. Sorry, Charlie. Don't want to be partly responsible for Daughter getting killed or killing anyone while out driving and on drugs. It didn't entirely stop her from driving. Her "friends" lent her their cars to the tune of two accidents that were her fault. She had already had one in our vehicle that lead to the taking it away. We never bought her a car. We don't believe it is useful for a teen or adult child to get a car as a gift and think they appreciate them far more if they work for them. Since drug users never tell the truth, per my now sober daughter, a promise they make to "pay you back" means you just bought yourself a car. My daughter was rare. In high school she always had a part-time job (the better to have $$$ for drungs, Grandma). We stopped giving her money even as a minor so she HAD to get a job or be broke. What can you do beyond that?

    Well, you can do many things, but this is what we did and it worked. You already know there was no car and no money from us. And I mean none. I was really hard*** when it came to drugs. I had my own zero tolerance for that...I'm a person who doesn't even drink. When she was nineteen, we thought she had quit. This is something you will hear through the years. "I quit." and you, like me, will want to believe it. But watch for signs that they didn't quit, such as still acting "high" and refusing to give up their druggie friends . Druggies do not hang with the sober. So if they hang with them, that says a lot. Words they tell us mean nothing since they lie with no problem. Steal too.

    in my opinion the best thing you can go when it gets to be too much is to show them the door and let them live without your money, as hard as it is. They will have to change...many DO change once they have no more support from us. It usually takes several years for them to do it, but many on this site have greatly improved their lives. It's like they get tired of being homeless, jobless, money-less, car-less, and outgrow the desire to live the drug life. Many slow down the drug use. Some quit. Their lives get better. Ours do too. I believe this happens more often when they are not living at home then when they are. Jail also sometimes helps our drug using kids. Bailing them out in my opinion doesn't help anything except make them think they can always dodge the consequences because Mom will come to the rescue. And Mom is stressed and in tears and desperate and needs to live her own life and detach from a self-destructive child. Again, this is just my opinion.

    In other words, to me the best thing we can do for our drug using adult kids is to let them go and stand on their own, even if we are afraid to do it (what for? We can't save them. Only THEY can save themselves), even if we think it will make things worse (it may at first, in the long run my experience of fifteen years on this board indicates the long run shows a better prognosis if we set strong boundaries and stop helping so much), even if we need Al-Anon or a private therapist to stand strong. It is so easy to remember our adult kids as little babies who smelled so sweet and loved us so much. But they are adults now and the most loving thing in my opinion that we can do for adult kids who go wrong is to let them suffer the consequences and work things out themselves. So many of our adult kids HAVE gotten better, but not while sitting at home while we still did their laundry and still handed them money and still let them steal from us without calling the police.

    They will find their normal. It may not be OUR dreams for them, but our dreams are not important. Their dreams matter to them.

    I am very encouraged lately by seeing so many adult kids doing so much better. Keep the Faith.
  6. JMom

    JMom Active Member

    I Roxana, I'm heading to bed but just read your post. I detached with love after reading a short book "codependent no more by Melody Beattie

  7. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Well, I managed to gather enough strength to take the car away. I almost waivered a couple of time, but somehow made it to the end. It was a hard discussion, but J didn't rage, raise his voice or even get really angry at me. I told him I would take him to get job applications, go to interviews or his girlfriend's house. I told him I was no longer going to accept his lies. He says he quit working so he could go to college. I told him that he waited too late to start spring semester and fall semester doesn't start until next August or September, and he wasn't going to sit around here or waste gas money driving all over town for the next six months. I hope this helps to motivate him to look more intently for a new job.
  8. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Thank you Somewhere for your reply. I'm glad to know that some of them successfully make it out of this mess. Things I've read on the internet about meth addiction give a very negative prognosis.
  9. RN0441

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

    Roxana the people here have been a Godsend to me. I now have strength to evict my son if it comes to that. I thought that if I did that, I was a horrible mom and didn't love him but finally after five years of this on and off with him and no end in sight, I see that it the only thing I can do. I have to love myself too and I can't continue to live like this locking things up every night; not knowing what I'd come home from work to; causing problems in my good marriage; causing problems for his older brother who is an angel. I finally told him that I don't love HIM more than I love the rest of my family and that I cannot save him.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Roxana, glad you are here. I agree with SWOT that he needs to stand or fall on his own, hard as it is going to be. He is not going to get or keep a job if he is using. The money he makes will just go to more using. He will get fired again and again and get into more and more legal trouble. He is on a self destruct treadmill and nothing will change if he doesn't stop it.

    I would make it clear to him that he cannot live with you if he is using. Tell him that you will support him getting help but if he does not he must find other living arrangements. You must be prepared to follow through on this or don't say it. The only way you can survive this is to find a support group for yourself. I have found Families Anonymous to be very helpful.

    I am so sorry you and your family are going thorough this, but you will find an understanding and supportive group here.
  11. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Thanks for everyone's replies and support. The last day or so has been...okay. He's pushing a little, but it hasn't been as hard as I thought he would. He had a friend pick him up yesterday, so he could collect his final pay check. They were also supposed to go to the community college, but that didn't happen.

    Last night he was upset and emotional, crying a little...saying he wanted to put a bullet in his head. He looked to see if he had anymore anxiety medicine left from when he was in rehab six months ago, but remembered he had taken it all. I tried to be emotionally supportive. He hasn't slept well in the last couple of nights and hasn't eaten much either. I suggested he take a shower and try to eat something, but he went to his room instead.

    Right now he is pleading his case to my husband, which seems to being going difficult on both sides. I'm staying out of it for now.
  12. detachingmother

    detachingmother serenity

    I agree with this.

    I too worried that it would hurt son worse if I kicked him out. But a not so peculiar thing happened. He had to survive on his own. He got loans for college, took business classes, and quickly started his own business. He did very well with this.

    HOWEVER, he also has mental illness (schizoprenia, Bipolar, psychomotor agitation). On top of it, the meth did a number on his brain. YES, they struggle, but they do make it in most cases. With Son, there's been quite a few setbacks, but with each set back (relapse) he comes back a little bit more humbled and little bit smarter.

    We all have to set our own limits. Only do what we ourselves can handle, but at a certain point the enabling only makes them worse.

    With my Son, I let him "break" me financially. Now I am rebuilding myself.

    Another peculiar thing happened. He now tells me in his own way not to enable him, that it does him no good. For instance, he just told me to stop putting $ on his account so he can call us. He knows he abuses this privilege in the way of giving his girlfriend a hard time.

    He's also told me, thank you quite often for putting his butt out of the house. It was the best thing that happened to him, because he learned how to handle himself and grow as a man (although he is in back slide, relapse mode now and spending time in jail because of meth).

    You can't stop him from hurting himself with drugs. But, you can put him out and he will have no choice but to sink or swim. One thing I did do was advise him to go to college, get loans, and handle his own business.

    I'm still struggling with enabling him on small things, like phone money, commissary, etc. But now that he told me to stop. I will.

    I should note too that he had been kicked out before the college and him figuring a few things out, and he couch surfed, lived with other family and that, but he wore his welcomes out everywhere he went. It wasn't until he reached a certain rock bottom that he started figuring things out. I still have hope even with him in jail right now. BUt, he has to find his own way now. He has a better chance at finding his own way without me enabling him.

    Hugs to you. IT's a struggle most of us understand.
  13. detachingmother

    detachingmother serenity

    I will also add that my Son was insufferable/intolerable to live with. If he had been more tolerable I may have let him stay.

    We each have to make our own boundaries and then stick with them whatever those may be...

    Also, at first when Son went to get loans for school, he was just probably thinking he would use the system and just get the money and do "ignorant" things with it, but he was around others who were working on their lives, around professors (someone other than mom in his face), who encouraged him, and somewhat of a small miracle started to happen. He started visualizing himself as someone who could be capable. Long story, he has some issues with confidence...I'll just say his father was rough on him. He ended up using some of his loan money to start his business and paid back some of his loans already. He just did this long enough to get his own business up and running.

    I'm not saying this would work for your son, just saying as example. :)

    And, if you do put out your son now, or one day down the road, just know there will be relapses probably. :(

    Love, light, and prayers to you!
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  14. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Thanks, Detachingmother. I appreciate what you have posted, and I'm sorry for your struggle as well.

    J was short $20 for his legal fee that was due today, so he asked if he could wash my truck in order to earn it. I let him, and he did a good job. He also asked if he could wash husband's truck for $20, and husband let him. He also detailed his car and cleaned his room over the weekend. We grilled hamburgers last night, and J actually ate dinner with us. It has been many months since he has shared a meal with us. It was nice.

    Today he paid his legal fine and obtained the information he needed to complete the rest of the community service he owes. He has three weeks to get 55 hours done, which I think he can do without any problem. He says he has put in some job applications. I haven't seen them, but I'm not pushing it right now because I would rather he finish the community service before he gets a new job. He still needs to work on the sample placement community college exam I gave him, but I haven't had a chance to work on that with him because I have been trying to avoid the drama of all the children for a couple of days while husband was home from work.

    All in all, it was a better weekend than I expected it would be. I'm feeling a little less stressed today, which I am grateful for.

    Hope everyone has a nice evening.

  15. detachingmother

    detachingmother serenity

    Very good. This is more like my well adjusted 17 year old. He will clean and detail the cars for money. :)

    I like it! Maybe he will get it back on track! :)

    One piece of advice that has worked for me with talking to either of my boys, is to talk to them when we are in motion. Can't remember where I learned this, but it has definitely worked with getting the to open up.

    What I mean by "motion" is either driving down the road in the car, riding bikes, walking, or any other type of motion. Don't know why or what, but it works for my boys. They open up for the hubby too. Males just seem to be more open to conversation when in motion.

    So, when you do start to bring up the college and other more possibly sensitive convos, maybe try it while going to the road in the car.

    Just something to ponder and try...

    hugs to you! Glad all is more relaxed today.
  16. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Welcome! My daughter's drug of choice was meth as well. We lived a lot of horrible, nightmarish years. We finally had to give her the ultimatum of rehab if she wanted to continue living at home. She chose to leave and spent a few years couch surfing, staying at motels, etc. She got pregnant and then got arrested for a fight with the sperm donor. I took advantage of that and contacted the courts. I explained the situation and begged for help. They listened and they helped. She was in county jail for the duration of her pregnancy and gave birth to a perfect baby boy. She came home after that and was doing well but then relapsed. I saw the signs you are talking about but I didn't want to believe it. She finally tested dirty at probation and went back to jail. From there they sent her to a year long program at a ministry near South Carolina and it completely changed her life. It helped that she really, really wanted help and did not want to live like that anymore. But once she turned her life over to God, she was a changed person. After she graduated she and her son moved back home and she is doing AWESOME! She has a good job that she busts her butt at and they love her, she just bought her own vehicle over the weekend and she has an amazing boyfriend that has also been clean many years now. I have no doubt they will be married one day. :)
    Meth is a horrible, horrible drug and from what I am told, gives the ultimate high. But there IS hope!! People DO make it and there are some of us here that can testify to that. (((HUGS)))
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  17. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I agree with this. Some of our best conversations have been in the car, just J and me. One time we got lost in the woods looking for a camp site that my husband was staying at with the other boys. We were just talking and laughing, and before we knew it, we were 8 miles past the turn off in the middle of the national forest.

    We have also had some pretty good conversations out on the back patio looking at the garden. It's always has to be just me and J. When someone else walks up, he shuts off until they leave.

    His birthday is on the 29th. He doesn't want anyone other than me and my husband to celebrate with him, but he knows it will offend all the others, so he doesn't want to do anything at all.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Why do the others have to choose to be offended?
    You and he were your own family for a LONG time. This year is a special birthday. There is every logical reason under the sun why it should just be the TWO of you on your own little celebration - including the fact that HE wants it that way. The "rest of them" need to be really gracious and accepting about this.

    Given that some of the others are younger, can you bring them home some "birthday treats" to share at home? like an ice cream cake or something? They don't really need the party, but they probably don't want to miss out on the treats.
  19. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Thanks for this, PatriotGirl. I'm so glad to know that people make their way out of this mess. When we kicked him out last summer, we gave him the same condition that if he went to in-patient rehab, and he and actually worked the program, he could possibly come home. He worked hard in rehab, and it showed. The first several months back at home were really good. He was acting like a regular teenager, and it was nice to have just a regular teenager.

    I'm not sure if he really has used meth again since that time. He's skinny but always has been. He's never been a big eater, so it's hard to say if they symptoms he is exhibiting are from meth use or just an angry young man who isn't eating enough and has acne because when he does eat it's usually ice cream or cereal. :)

    He doesn't have any money now, and the only one he's been hanging around with since we took the car away is his girlfriend and they are usually here at the house. He has been gathering job applications and bringing them home for help, and he is the one filling them out, not me.

    We talk about community college and he is against going again. He is intimidated by the Accuplacer test because he knows he will not do well. He was in special education all his schooling and then didn't try very hard, and his education suffered greatly for it. He has very low self-esteem because he knows what he has done to himself. I have told him that he will need to take remedial classes, or I can help him learn what he is deficient in. He's not onboard with any of this yet, but I hope one day soon he will be.
  20. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I 100% agree with you. I told him it was okay for it just to be us. He's just very sensitive about hurting other people's feelings. I can understand it. I was the same way when I was his age....not so much anymore though. :)

    I told him to check with his girlfriend and we could try to get someone to watch the kids, so we could go to dinner or go bowling, or anything else he would like to do. The kids don't even have to know what we're doing. All they have to know is that Dad and I are going out for a date night. Right now he is still in a negative place, but I'll continue to work on him.