New to board, but not to addiction

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Addictsmom, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Addictsmom

    Addictsmom New Member

    Hi, I am a 71 yo mother to a 52 yo difficult child. I have been on this ride since he was in his teens. I can't tell you how many rehabs he's been in. I think the longest he has had clean is "maybe" a year and most of that was because he was in jail at the time. He just got out of jail a few months ago and was going to AA nightly and seemed to be on track. He has no drivers license because of his last dui (which is why he was in jail). He asked me if he could live with me for a week or so until he could get an apartment with a friend. He ended up being here for about 2 months and there was no sign of relapse until a couple of weeks ago when one night he had an angry outburst at me over a disagreement. The anger didn't match the disagreement, so my antennae went up. He calmed down and we had a talk the next day and he apologized and things seemed to be back to normal. Since he's gotten older, I actually enjoy his company when he's around. He helps me do things I can't do now that I've gotten older. Well, the ugly face of addiction raised it's ugly head again Sunday night....when he had another angry outburst. He stayed up all night eating, cooking...basically trashing my house. Monday morning he was so intoxicated on something (not alcohol) he could hardly talk straight. He was very mean and threatening to me, calling me ugly names, throwing coffee toward me, etc. For the first time in my life I became frightened of him. After trying to call his sponsor and friends with no luck, I had to call the police. It broke my heart. I've never had to do this in all the years I've been going through this. The police came and took him to jail. They saw coffee spilled all over the floor and other things and after questioning me, they are charging him with "simple assault". I know I did the right thing.....I've been to so many Alanon meetings and know all the tough love rules.....but I'm getting older and for some reason I don't have the strength I used to have. I decided I needed to go for personal therapy which I have never done and have my first appointment tomorrow. I started searching for help online and found this board and have been reading all your posts, and it's helped, but my heart is still hurting. Hate reading about you younger mothers because I was there with him when he was a teen, and this disease of addiction doesn't go away. Sorry to sound so depressing, but I am feeling depressed right now.
  2. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I understand your depression and I'm glad you found us...though sorry you had to as we often say around here.

    You did the right thing...calling the police.
    This hurts so much doesn't it. We have to do the unimaginable at times but when they are "high" on whatever substances, you just never know what might happen next!

    I can't imagine being in the trenches as long as you have.
    I'm so sorry.

    You are not alone now.
    caring hugs,
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The addiction doesn't go away, but you can still have a good rest of your life. You would need to be able to detach and stop enabling him. He is, like, in my opinion way too old to be depending on you and you are way too old to not enjoy your own life without caretaking a man who will soon be a senior citizen himself.

    I sincerely hope you learn to let go of him and enjoy the rest of your years knowing that no matter what you do, you can't change your son and that you can't cure him either. That's on him.

    Prayers and wishing you peace and serenity and maybe a new outlook.
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome and I'm glad you reached out. Addiction knows no age boundary for sure. You were right to call the police. You have every right to be safe in your home but I also understand your sadness. I am very worried about him eventually abusing you in one of his anger fits. Do you think he is taking pills in addition to drinking?

    You are not new to this sadly and you have done the right things by joining alanon and making a counseling appointment. You have to take care of yourself now. Your son is a big boy and will have to find help or not but without you.

    We are a big family here, we understand your fears and sadness and depression. We have all felt it but we have also learned how to live full lives in spite of it. Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
  5. comatheart

    comatheart Active Member

    ((((Huge hugs))))))
  6. Addictsmom

    Addictsmom New Member

    Thank you all for your replies. I have my therapist appointment this afternoon. I retired to a small town from the city and have not been able to find an active alanon group, but am going to keep trying. His sponsor is going to help me. I guess what I find the saddest, is all those years I fought detaching, doing all the "right" things, somewhere in my mother's heart, I thought somewhere in the future things would get better. Hope springs eternal I guess. I have made some really nice friends in my new town (I'm single.....partly due to my difficult child's problem and my choice). I make myself go out and socialize. I finally shared my problem yesterday with a lady who is like a sister to me. She was shocked to know I even had a problem. It helped to have someone I can trust to talk to. I've always tried to be strong and just handle it on my own....thinking others may be carrying bigger burdens than mine. Thanks again for all your helps to talk to other mothers that know the same pain and challenges that we all face. I will keep reading and hopefully post something that might help others.
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hello and welcome. You are doing all of the right things. We all hope that "someday" our loved ones will get clean and sober but we can't make that happen. It is time for you to take care of yourself and enjoy your life. You may have to cut off all contact with your difficult child to do that.

    I have found that when I opened up to others about problems with our difficult child, they were very understanding and supportive and often told me stories about loved ones in their lives that are also troubled.

    I'm glad that you found us and hope you keep posting.

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I can understand alot of your pain and sadness. As a 70 something myself I relate strongly to "I actually enjoy his company" and certainly the "he helps me do things I can no longer do". My easy child/difficult child has always been a supportive, fun and kind grandson as well as an alcoholic and substance abuser. He moved into his own home almost a year ago and he and his SO are "tight as ticks" and living an addictive lifestyle. Keeping my distance has been and still is a huge challenge.

    Like you and most of the CD family I have lived on a roller coaster of emotions for a very long time. My heart goes out to you as you face this new challenge. I am so glad that you have been able to make new friends and have support. It sounds as though you are taking every step toward health and I hope you stay in touch with our caring group. DDD
  9. Addictsmom

    Addictsmom New Member

    Thanks everyone for your caring posts. Just had my first ever counseling session. Not sure she is a great fit, as she doesn't seem to know much about addiction. But I will go back next week. Maybe it's normal that she was more concerned about me as a child than any current issues. Time will tell. I have found an alanon group that I am going to try tomorrow night. For today, my difficult child is safe in jail at least.
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    I am so glad that you are already using tools to help yourself. You know **You** are the only person you can save, and that will take all of your time and energy, leaving none for your son.

    **We** are a full-time job, leaving no time for any other part-time jobs (other people). I am also a committed Al-Anon and have worked the program diligently for four years. I am very grateful for all of the caring, warm, supportive people there (and here) who have walked the same walk I have.

    Maybe you are finally done AM. ??

    I believe that the best expression of the highest and greatest love we have for our difficult child children is this: staying out of the way.

    But because that is so hard for us to do and do consistently, we have to work a program of recovery ourselves in order to have a shot at it.

    And as you know, we will become better people for it.

    Hugs and prayers and blessings from me to you today.

    Please keep posting here. We care because we get it.
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You sound strong and I'm so glad you found someone to talk to, that is such a comfort. I agree with you on the therapist maybe not being a good fit. Don't spend too much time and money on someone who wants to try to tie everything back to your childhood. I have been to enough counselors for both myself and my difficult child to regret all the wasted time and money when what I really needed was to learn how to detach and what my difficult child needed to learn was how to find what was missing in her life to turn to substance abuse. A counselor experienced in addiction is important, maybe your alanon group has a suggestion.
  12. Addictsmom

    Addictsmom New Member

    Well, the mystery of what difficult child was on is solved. His drug of choice is alcohol...mainly beer.....LOTS of beer. He usually is not a violent drunk on beer.....just sloppy, DUI, etc. He has told me in the past that hard alcohol (vodka, etc) makes him mean. I guess he had experienced this in the past....but not in my presence. Coming in the door from the screen porch this am, I dropped a bottle of water and it rolled under my little dog's play pen. I looked under the pen and there was an empty liter bottle of apple flavored vodka. Violent mean episode explained. I'm leaving the empty bottle sitting on the counter in my kitchen so I can see it all the time. A little reminder of what my difficult child put me through.

    And Childofmine......I do feel like I'm done. But the mommy heart, even at this age is a strong strong pull. Something we have to continually work against.
  13. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    I think we can be done, AM, and still have deep and ongoing pain over it. It is still so sad and hard and we will still grieve. We just want(ed) them to have such a great life. That is really all we ever wanted for them.

    We love our children so much, no matter how old they are. My mother and I talk about that. She is 81 and I am 57. She said that your child is still your child no matter how old they are, and when they hurt, you hurt.

    She has been very supportive of me throughout all of this. When we talk on the phone, she always asks about difficult child, her grandson, of course. Then she will say: Well, honey, whatever you have to do to take care of yourself. I'm just glad you are doing okay.

    Sometimes we are both just silent, having just said the update of what is going on with difficult child, and sitting with the sheer horror and unbelievability of it all.

    When all of this first began, I called her often and she was a great sounding board. But after a while, I believe it was too hard on her, and I needed to stop with all of the details, my uncontrollable sobbing to her, etc. She was having to deal with me and her grandson---and all of that pain.

    I don't withhold from her, she is a very strong person, but I don't call her constantly with every little thing. I don't have to anymore. I am so much better than I was because of the hard, hard work I am doing.

    I told one of my friends the other day that I have to spend at least an hour a day on my recovery to remain functional. That has become a priority in my life, along with exercise, grad school (just one class at a time!), my business and my SO. I also have lots of friends that I would like to see more often than I do, but it's hard. I do have several who I keep in weekly contact with.

    I am thinking of you. I am hoping that the therapy is going well for you, you are going to Al-Anon and you come here as often as you would like to. I am praying for you. I wish you all the very best as you walk this hard road. Hugs and prayers and blessings from me to you.
  14. Addictsmom

    Addictsmom New Member

    Just wanted to check in with all you wonderful people. I have had an issue in my home....a hidden leak in my kitchen wall....right now, I have no kitchen and had those loud fans for 3 days to dry everything out. Some of you have probably been through something like this and are familiar with the "fans". Just explaining my absence.

    I am in a much better place today than when I first came to the board. My difficult child stayed in jail almost 2 weeks. His youngest son bailed him out. He is so codependent. I have talked to him about taking care of himself, but this is how he deals with having a father who is an alcoholic. My difficult child's oldest son is the angry one. Will not help his Dad out of any situation revolving around drinking....which is good, but he has an inside anger which I can see when he talks to me about his father. I try to help them as much as I can, but they don't live near me and most of my communication with them is by phone. I did find another counselor who was a good fit. She recommended a good book which I have found very helpful. It's by David D. Burns, MD and it is called Feeling Good...I would recommend it. It's based on cognitive therapy which to me is the best for those of us that find ourselves with difficult child's. We get distorted thinking just from dealing with all the drama over the years. It basically helps retrain your way of thinking.

    I am in touch with my difficult child by phone. He is struggling....3 days with this friend, 3 days with another friend....but I know this is his problem to figure out and I can't fix things for him. He will either figure something out or not.

    Just wanted to touch base with everyone here. Thanks for all the kind words. I have a full time job working with contractors, etc and may not be on the board for a while because I may have to move out of my home so they can redo the hardwood floors throughout my entire house, so everything matches.
  15. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Hi AM, so good to hear from you.

    While I am sorry you are having to deal with such a hassle and I'm sure, an expense, with your house, what a gift that you are busy and focused on other things that you must do. I find that to be the case with my work and my graduate school. I enjoy both, and at the end of the day I am tired and that is a good thing. I am minding my own business.

    I am sure it's hard to watch your grandsons deal with their father in their own individual ways. It's hard to understand where other people are in their heads and hearts. I wish my ex-husband would be able to have more of a relationship with our difficult child right now but you know, he is probably doing the best he can do and that is again, his business, and not mine.

    I am working to let go, always working to let go, AM. It sounds like you are making great progress in that arena, and thank you for the book idea. I had not heard of that one and will go and seek it out.

    Reading is such a help and so is writing and reading on this board.

    It is spring here, and I hope you are seeing some sunshine wherever you are.

    Thanks for keeping in touch. Please keep on doing so! Blessings to you today.