Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by ColleenB, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    It's 4am, and I am awake like most nights. My story may not sound unique but it's the last thing I imagined for my sweet, smart and kind boy. My oldest son is twenty one and I've just picked together that he is now dealing drugs. He graduated top of his class with plans to do all kinds of wonderful things.... Fast forward three years and he has quit university three times. It's been a rough road with a time in there we now know he was dealing with addiction. We are an upper middle class professional family, with our younger son in his first year of university. None of this makes sense to me. We have given our son so much, and he has always been kind and respectful. We both work very hard, and have always expected much from our sons. I work as a school guidance counsellor and part time at a youth shelter, so I see the destruction first hand of drugs. It's killing me inside. I am not the same happy person I used to be. I am avoiding friends and social events. I'm scared for my husband who is ready to kick our son out. We are away right now for Xmas and all I can think about is next week when we return home. If he leaves he will be a drug dealer for sure. How do I kick out my own son. I just don't know if I can do it. But I know I have to. I'm beyond heartbroken.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our corner of the world. If you are using your real first name, please change it to protect your identity. This is a public forum and you never who else could be on here. Others will come along with their perspective. Take what information you find helpful and leave the rest. These wonderful parent warriors are at different stages of this journey and their points of view will reflect their experience.
  3. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Thanks. It's not my real name, I wouldn't put my sons story forward with a risk he could be identified.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Im sorry your son chose this path. My experience has been an addict who sells drugs will do it if he lives at home too. That doesnt prevent it. My daughter, who used once, told me that if you use you also sell and lie and pawn things fir drug money. That this is the drug culture, which is one reason she quit and stopped hanging with drug users.

    Im sorry for your hurting heart. Do you have any yoinger kids still at home who have to live with him too?
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Dear Colleen, I am so sorry for your hurting heart and your need to be here on CD. It is a good place for folks like us, who are dealing with this issue. We try to help one another, we are all at different stages on this journey.

    I am thinking about this, and how doubly difficult it must be, to have your son change so much after doing so very well in high school. What a shock to your soul. I can see how this would keep you awake at night. It is definitely not the vision we have for our kids, to fall into the trap of drugs...unfortunately, it happens to the best families, the best kids.

    So, you must be figuring, as it seems to me, that drugs were the issue with his quitting university. I am sorry for the pain of it Colleen. I can imagine it has been a rough three years for your family.
    It does not make sense to any of us.
    We cannot imagine the changes to our kids, what has happened, when they go down this road. There is a reason our kids change and the cold, hard fact of it is that drugs do things to people, drugs change people. This does not mean that this is your sons choice forever, Colleen, but it is now, and that makes all of the difference in the world.
    It is hard, this is your profession, working with kids, and then volunteering at a youth shelter, harder still, for you. Me, too, Colleen, I work as a health aide, and I volunteer coaching kids, part of the reason for my community service is to offer kids an alternative to the street life, and I have two out there using...... So, this hits hard, when it hits home, that is for sure. I know the pain of it. Upper, middle, lower class does not matter, this thing has no boundaries. Smart, average, challenged kids, no boundaries.
    I understand this, plus the not sleeping. It is entirely shocking and a rock your whole world tragedy, when our kids choose this path. It is hard to get up in the morning, put on the happy face, and go to work and function, none the less, go to parties, be in a holiday spirit.
    I do know how this feels.
    It is a roller coaster ride that none of us bought a ticket for.
    A nightmare.
    So, we have to feel what we feel, and get it out.....
    We have value and meaning to our lives, and we need to live our lives.
    We need to sleep, and take very, very good care of ourselves.
    It is a mountain, steep and sad and scary.
    One step at a time, one day at a time, we need to zig zag our way across the mountain, like skiers. Not straight down the mountain, across the mountain.
    It is a grieving process we go through, all of the steps of grieving loss,
    but our children are still here, they are not gone.
    They are on a different path.
    One that we never imagined for them, but they are on it.
    Now, what do we do?
    We mourn. Definitely mourn.
    Then we get on with our lives, as best we can.
    There is you, your husband, and your young son.
    You have much to live for.
    It is a retraining of our minds, and our focus.
    It is an understanding that our kids have chosen a path,
    that is unacceptable to bring into our home.
    Your husband is seeing things clearly. This is a good thing. Most of us have learned, that our kids do not change in our homes, in fact, they get worse. When our kids are using while in our homes, they start to use us. They use our hearts, manipulate and lie, to continue their lifestyle.
    We are easy targets for them.
    We think we are helping them, when in reality, we are helping them continue as is.
    Then, it becomes even harder, because the activity, the degradation, the danger associated with the drug world is in our house.
    This is what happened to my family, as we struggled with this with our daughters, in and out of our home. I thought we were helping, at first, it seemed there was a change, then it gradually became worse.
    If he stays.....wait.....
    So he is dealing already........this is unacceptable in your home. The drug dealing world is not a pretty thing.
    We came home after work to find some pretty shady looking characters in our back yard, my daughters street friends, she thought nothing of bringing them to our home, all we can think is
    "These people know where we live......." GULP.....
    It is hard when heart and head wrestle with this. It is good that you know what has to be done. But Colleen, you are not kicking him out, you are giving him his wings. You are a counsellor, I am very sure you have given him rules and boundaries. If he is not willing to follow those rules, then he is choosing to not live in your home. You are not kicking him out, he is making a choice.
    Your son is young, he is on this path that you would never in a million years imagine for him.
    It is a shock.
    But, if he is in your home, his choice will be there, every single day, in your face.
    By letting him go, you are telling him through your actions, that you love him, but his current lifestyle is unacceptable in your home.
    Here is an article on loving detachment, I read it over and over

    You have given your son the best of everything, all the best tools to succeed.
    He has capacity to live his life, he is on this path,
    but he can change Colleen.
    Have faith, there are stories all throughout this site of d cs changing after a time.
    Our kids need to go out there and figure out their lives.
    They do not do this in our homes.
    They continue on this awful path, and drag us down with them.
    We do not have to go down with them.

    Many of our CD friends will tell you this.

    We are not meant to go down with them.

    So, be very kind to yourself. If you are feeling too depressed, for too long, please seek help Colleen. All of us need guidance and help, one time or another. I went to see a therapist, my head was just so spun around by all of this...I am sure you know of the 12 step programs. Al anon, etc. Reading helps, posting here helps.

    We all learn from one another through our stories.
    Thank you for being so heartfelt and honest, writing your story.

    Others will come along and share, I would think it may be a bit slow today, because of the holidays,
    but they will post.

    You are not alone, we are here, too and we care.
    We are here, because we are going through a similar journey....

    Please take care....

  6. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Thank you so much for your wise words.... I am in denial, shock.... Not sure what to do next. But I know that others have gone through this and I can survive this too.

    Leaf, your insight into how I am feeling made me cry.... It is a nightmare. And I know I need to see things clearly and not enable his behaviour. My husband and I will be sitting down with him when we return home and hopefully he will decide to abide by our rules. We are willing to provide a place to live, a car to drive and help with university. But we will not allow more of his selling drugs as his "job". We will be very clear about that.

    On this trip his younger brother has witnessed him shopping with money he did not earn. It's been so wrong. I feel like I shouldn't have allowed him to spend it, but I couldn't really stop it.

    We will make it clear that it can't continue. I want to include my younger son in our family meeting so he knows the boundaries too
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Colleen, I want to say a quick Hi and Welcome. Merry Christmas. I am not saying that sarcastically. If you keep posting, and I hope so, you will learn here ways that your life will be rich and tranquil, even if your son chooses to live otherwise.

    None of us has either control over or responsibility for the choices of our grown children.

    If your son is dealing drugs, he has already made choices that have taken him away from home and family. He will have to deal with those consequences. They should not touch you.

    Do you know the kind of drugs he is using?

    Until he deals with drug addiction, I would think twice about subsidizing him. I would think twice as well about the car. Especially if it is your name, or he is on your insurance. As long as he is using drugs, any help you give him may will be subsidizing that life style.

    I agree with Somewhereoutthere. However counter-intuitive it may sound, the reality of his life and your life with him is drugs. If he has been dealing drugs, there has already been a betrayal of your values and of you. That is the elephant in the room, which has to be confronted.

    He has known all along what you want of him. He has chosen otherwise. No matter what you do or do not do, if the issue is drugs, it needs to be confronted by him. Not you.

    If it were me I would be willing to help him obtain residential treatment.

    I know how hard this must be. All of us have had to deal with our own versions of a hell that we never ever envisioned. You did not fail. You did not fail him.

    The reality of things, is that there is no solving this for him. All of the solutions will come from him. Sooner or later.

    I am glad you are here. You have to take care of you. I do not think your husband is misguided to think of asking him to leave home. In a sense, your son has already left. It is to face what is real.

    There is hope. A lot of it. But it comes from what your son decides to do.

    There is a great deal of hope for you, too. You will be strengthened by this. In time. I know that. Take care.

  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Colleen, I'm sorry you have to be here but glad you found us. Yes your story is sadly familiar. My husband is in the legal profession, it was so hard for him the first time we had to call the police on her, even harder when we had to go to court. We kept hoping we could love her enough for her to stop. If he is using though there is no way he is going to come home and abide by your rules. The drugs will be dictating what he does.

    Yes it will be hard to make him leave your home, but it may come to that. Many of us have found that is the only way to get them to seek help. It is a gut wrenching decision, felt like my heart was being ripped out of me. Dealing drugs is a serious offense, do you know what drugs he is dealing?

    This is a scary world he is involved in. I was terrified my daughter would end up in jail or dead. You will have to make some difficult decisions here. My suggestion is to find a support group to help you deal with this. I found Families Anonymous to be very helpful, they kept my sanity.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Colleen, this is not so much insight, as it is hindsight, and part of the roller coaster I have gone through as well. I am still going through tough days, but the intensity of the feelings is getting less and less......I am so sorry for the pain of it for all of us out there.
    How could you have stopped it? Regardless of how he earned it, it is his money.....I know what you are saying, not a good example for his younger brother....
    So very true.
    This is good, both sons should know your rules and boundaries.
    I agree wholeheartedly.
    This is true, Colleen, I have also read a few times here, where adult D cs, have made bad choices driving, gotten into accidents, this affects parents, in every way, emotionally, legally......
    Be very careful.
    What you must know already, with the work that you do, is that drug users can be very manipulative, and conniving. We are not dealing with the person we think of as our child. Things change dramatically, when our kids are in the throes of drugs. They pull and tug at our heartstrings, to keep us enabling.
    I thought each time I took my two in, that they would change, but they slipped right back into their lifestyle and created havoc in our home.
    If I could do it all over again I would have done this.....
    I learned the heard way, that I am not equipped to deal with the challenges with my two.
    In the long run, Colleen, it is up to your son, and what he is willing to choose.
    I do hope that he comes round, and makes the choice to get help for his addiction.
    One thing many of us have found, is that our adult children have a harder time making changes, within our homes.

    Whatever the decision, we offer our support. It is your son, your choice, and folks are here to share their stories, guidance and suggestions, no matter what you choose.
    We are here to support each other on our journey.

    Keep posting, and let us know how you are doing.

    Take good care

    Have a Merry Christmas, may you find peace and comfort....

  10. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I will give a little background on our journey thus far. His drug use began three years ago when he was in his first year of university. He moved out at Xmas to live with six guys. While there he worked full time and quit school. He was using drugs but we figured it was a time of experimentation and we couldn't really stop it as he wasn't under our roof. That summer he moved back home saying he wanted to go back to school. We had no idea his drug use was escalating until Xmas when we found a bag of cocaine in his room. We confronted him and he confessed saying he was sorry, and we demanded it be returned immediately as his intention was to sell. My husband accompanied him and we got him into a therapist. By February that year we discovered he wasn't going to classes and the drug use was still going on, but he wasn't dealing. We decided he would go stay with my mom 1000 miles away just to give us all a break. It was a relief when my mom assured us he was clean, and seemed happy to be there. He stayed a few months but since they live in a rural area he couldn't find work. He came home and we thought he was on a better road. That fall he decided not to go back to university but to work. He worked in a call center and became extremely depressed. By Xmas he quit, and we supported it based on his mental health. He then decided to work in the school system as a temp educational assistant for the winter. He was amazing at this! He ended up with full time work all winter until June working with behaviour kids in an elementary. We were so proud of him and he found the job very hard but rewarding. He was off drugs, eating sleeping normal and applied to a special university leadership program that he was accepted to. Things looked promising. He finally told us how bad his addiction was, the year before and that he was clean. He had big plans, he was happy. By summer things started getting tricky with the job at the school done and the partying starting again. I was counting the days for his courses to begin.

    By October we were worried, he was depressed again and not going to classes. He said he was having anxiety attacks at the thought of going to his classes. The classes were very small and he had to do a lot of talking, which he said made him freeze up and feel stupid. He had really though this degree was for him, and I think his disappointment in himself was huge. This resulted in depression. He had to drop out, losing all the money he paid. We focused on getting him well again, and promised not to nag him about plans, etc...

    Now, he apparently isn't using hard drugs, just pot occasionally. I do believe him as I've seen it before. But a few weeks ago I noticed a wad of money.... And my husband noticed some other signs. We confronted him and he denied it all. I have been sick with worry since. I am pretty sure he is dealing pot only. He has money, and since he likes to shop I think he is sucked in by the money right now, as his drug use is not "bad" ( I say this compared to past)

    He plans on taking a few courses after Xmas, as he says he does want a degree. He is a very smart boy and we know he can do it. I don't want to give up on him, but my husband is not willing to pay anymore. I agree, but it's so hard.

    On this trip he isn't using at all and seems happy to spend time with family . I want him to know we won't pretend we don't know about his job anymore. But I'm so scared to make him leave. I feel he is really at a crossroads right now. He isn't in the stage of complete addiction, so he needs to choose what way his path will take him, I think he thinks he can deal in this " soft drug" and it will be his income. He has no thoughts to consequences. I could lose my job if it came out I knew. I have worked hard to get where I am in my career, having just graduated with my masters.

    I love my boy, and he is a sweet and kind soul, who has mostly been a joy for us. Where did it all go so wrong???? He knows how heartbroken I am as he saw me crying yesterday and I could see the look on his face. My younger son is like my husband and is mostly even but I worry he will suffer as he looks up to his brother and will be influenced by this .

    I am so scared of what will come next depending on his decision. And I'm not sleeping.... Again.

    How do you all live your lives? I'm so obsessed and only think of this .... I feel like a shell of a person. I went to my doctor last week and she put me on an anti depressant and gave me sleeping pills. I didn't take one last night, I should have. She even offers me stress leave but I can't take it. My job actually helps me. I adore the teens and kids I work with.

    Give me strength to do this. I'm so scared. What if he chooses this and goes back into the addiction, it really will
    Kill me.....
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I do not want to scare you. But I don't want you to delude yourself either.

    It went wrong in college, where there is no supervision or rules. It is not uncommon to start there, especially if a child goes away to college. These people are good at pretending they use less than they do. We had no clue about my daughter.

    We thought my daughter was just using pot, even though we saw signs that it was more. We didn't want to think so. And we never dreamed s he was selling anything. But after she quit, she spilled all, as if it were inside of her and she wanted to confess. And you could have knocked me over with a feather. I was so shocked.

    Not only was there pot at age twelve, but there were ADHD drugs which she crushed in a pillcrusher and snorted either alone or with cocaine. Adderrall is worth a lot on the street, in particular. I had never heard of this, being naive as I was. She used meth. Yes, meth. Psychodelics. And we did not know although she was living at home. She did it mostly at night when we were sleeping and snuck out to be with her "friends." She tried heroin a few times, which shocked me the most, because I had thought that if you used it even one time, you were going to be hooked. She said not true...that was only if you used a needle and that was one thing she never did. She was way more involved with hard drugs than we guessed and your son very well may also be. There is really no reason to sell is readily available now.

    I believe that if you know your child is doing drugs, you need to accept that you don't know what they are really doing. Drug addicts lie (my daughter's words again). There is little you can do about it, but there are a few things you can do. Hide your valuables and lock them up before they are stolen and pawned. Don't hand out any will be used for drugs, not for food, as they try to say to pull on our kind mother hearts. Do spend time on yourself and your well loved ones and don't let this child suck all the oxygen out of your w orld because he isn't going to change one bit UNLESS HE WANTS TO. You can't control him, just yourself and your reaction to him.

    Do go to a place for support, such as the wonderful Al-Anon or a private psychologist to help you through this. Don't go thinking you will find a way to c ure your son. You can't. But you can cure yourself from being sucked into his world and you deserve a good life, even if he is self-destructing. That's what many of us have learned to do. In my case and in the case of many, things either ceased or got better with time, but NOT BECAUSE OF ANYTHING WE DID. It has to come from them.

    I hope you can focus on your loved ones who are not ill and have a wonderful Christmas. I know it is hard. I've been there. But you won't help anyone if you get physically or mentally sick and others need you and you need to be g ood to yourself.

    "God grant me the serenity to accept the things we can not change,
    the courage to change the things we can,
    and t he Wisdom to know the difference."

    If you do not believe in God, then just take God out of it. These are very wise words.
  12. SeaGenieTx

    SeaGenieTx Active Member

    ColleenB, welcome to a club none of us wanted to join. The SHOCK, yes.... it's the worst when the little sweet boy/girl you raised and loved has gone to the dark side of the drug world. Just know that it has NOTHING to do with your parenting. Our children have made these choices and most all of them were brought up in loving homes, by parents who were devoted and who did everything for their kids...

    My advice is to read as much as you can on this forum. Read our stories and you will learn quickly what works and what doesn't work. Shock - we all went thru this and it sucks. Once you accept reality and see what you are dealing with you will go thru many emotions and plead, beg, want to fix, rescue, etc. Just read as much as you can so you can be prepared for the long road ahead.

    I raised my 23 year old son alone as a single mom. He started doing and dealing drugs at age 20, has been arrested 3 times, and I had to kick him out. I kicked him out 2-3 times originally but always let him come back because I thought I could help him - it just made things worse. Finally kicked him out for good to let him figure out his life. Haven't heard from him in weeks but I can see on his Facebook page he is doing just fine. Living with someone and partying every night of the week, just having a grand ol time. Doesn't miss or care about his mother one iota - life is a party with no responsibilities and I'm the bad guy because I don't agree with his lifestyle and choices.

    My advice? Watch out for the lies, lock up your valuables, establish boundaries quickly, if he can't obey your rules out he goes. I've learned and read that kicking them out is one of the best things you can do for them and to keep peace in your house. It's devastating and heartbreaking to do this but at the same time it's the most loving thing you can do. These kids just have no clue how the real world works until they are forced to be out in it.

    We feel your pain and know exactly what you are going thru. Post on here as much as you need to. This forum is better than paying a therapist. The people on here are Saints!

    Hang in there! It's tough especially with it being the holidays but we are here for ya!
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Dearest gentle and kind Colleen, my heart reaches out to yours, this is a very trying time for you and your family. I am sorry for your heartache.
    This says a lot right here. Drug use by a family member affects the ENTIRE family. It is a very rough road, and we become desperate in our attempts to help. To get things back to "normal." A big indication of how entangled we become with this, is how much effort we put in to help. We put in more effort, than our kids do, that is not right.
    Time and again, I fell into this, jeopardizing my health, the peace in my home, because I felt that I should, I could help. Time and again, my two told me they weren't doing hard drugs, "just pot". I didn't see the real picture. I saw my two, as they were before drug use, and I wanted that picture back.
    Thank you for giving this background, it must have been a heart wrenching review for you, on this holiday, to make the time to share this. I know how this feels, to think it is a phase, that it will pass......
    That must have been a difficult discovery. Cocaine is highly addictive. Expensive....scary.
    You folks have done so much already to try and reach your son, underneath the drugs.
    I know this feeling too, the ups and downs and ins and outs of addiction. Clean, not clean. It is as if we are on this path in parallel with our emotions. It is dizzying and knocks us off our feet.
    One day, it looks as if a corner is turned, we dare to breathe and relax, then the bottom drops out again.
    Depression is also a side effect of drug use, takes time for the body and mind to heal. You know this already, I am sure, from your schooling and volunteer work.
    I think what happens with us as parents, it is like an artist working on a large mural, up close to the painting, we have to step back and see the whole picture. It is good you are writing all of this Colleen, it is a way to look at the whole picture. Three years of dealing with this is a long time.
    Keep writing and examining, it is cathartic and provides a more tangible perspective.
    The denial, yes, I have heard this from my two, even though there is so much evidence, denial.
    You are not giving up Colleen. It is a giving in to reality.
    There is always hope.
    It is not the desperate hope that we can do something about this,
    we cannot control our adult children and their choices.
    The hope is, when we lovingly detach from our d cs, that they will learn to choose a different path. With your training and knowledge, I am sure you have given your boy all of the tools he needs to succeed. It is up to him. By letting him go, you are letting him test his wings. They work, you know. Our kids wings work.
    Three years is a long time. I have never heard of a differentiation in addiction. Our pictures of drug addicts are ones of homelessness, mental illness, the dregs of society. When I went to seek help, I was shocked when the therapist told me of the amount of people out there on meth (my eldest choice of drug). She said it runs rampant throughout our society, Doctors, Judges, Housewives, and on and on........
    He has no thoughts to consequences. I could lose my job if it came out I knew. This is a testimony to how far this has gone. When our d cs have lost this decency, where is their conscience? How can they do this to themselves, and us? It is disrespectful, unacceptable.
    Really, really think of this Colleen.
    These are true words. From a very kind, caring and loving Mom. I have had to face the same truths about my two. To this day, my eldest will deny meth use, deny stealing from us, breaking into our house, cash from our wallets missing, family heirlooms pawned......There is no control over this for us, it is up to our adult kids. When they are using, they will say, or do anything to get us to continue enabling them.
    I hope the same for you Colleen. The fact your Doctor will give you stress leave, sleeping pills, anti depressants, shows how sorely affected you are. I know the pain of it Colleen, I have been there. No sleeping, problems eating, thoughts constantly on my two, my grandchildren. This dark hole forms. It is too much. We are not meant to fix this. We cannot fix this.
    It is up to our adult kids to fix themselves.
    Take it from a Mom who spent years desperately trying to help. I was sucked in because of my grands, tried anything and everything to recapture that picture. To no avail. It was never up to me. I did not have the magic potion. It was never my job, in the first place, it is my twos responsibility to make their own paths, to feel the consequences of their actions.
    Those consequences were not meant for me to bare the burden of. I did, Colleen, and still do. All of the years spent trying to help, only prolonged the drug use, and it affected my entire household.

    Slow way down, take time to think, try to step back from this picture you are painting, and really look at it.

    Take very good care of yourself my dear, it is a hard, hard time. If you haven't already, go see a therapist. A therapist helped me see, what I didn't want to see.

    You can do this Colleen.
    You can be strong.
    You matter, you have value.

    Keep posting and let us know how you are doing. We really, really care.

  14. SeaGenieTx

    SeaGenieTx Active Member

    Leafy needs her own talk show - her advice is always GOLD! ...she is better than Dr. Phil, Oprah, Dr. Drew... Love you Leafy!

    As someone who has overcome a LOT of tragedy and loss in life, let me say that sleep aids, drugs, antidepressants are NOT going to help you sleep, cope, etc. In life you just have to face problems head on and deal with them. Takes strength that's for sure but I have been dragged thru sudden death, loss, betrayal, hurt - you name it, it's happened to me. And I've dealt with it all - alone.

    So many people want a quick fix to ease the pain. Best thing you can do is deal with your pain head on. It comes and goes but you have to face things and grieve, accept, move on. Lord knows I'm going thru this with my son but like today, I'm distraught and heartbroken but I'm letting the feelings flow as I know in a couple of hours the tide will turn and I'll get sick of feeling low and decide to do something for myself and make the most of Christmas Day.

    Leafy said it best - it's like surfing huge waves. They come, you paddle like the dickens, ride the wave and sometimes crash and burn but sometimes you ride it out and conquer it! This is life.

    THOUGHTS and WORRY are your biggest enemies. I know I have to control my thinking or I get depressed and crash dive into despair. When I get like this I get on this forum and start writing away. Next thing I know I've dumped out my feelings and feel better.

    Turning to sleep aids, alcohol, drugs, whatever.... you're throwing your body into chemically induced states to avoid feelings and emotions. You have to find outlets and work thru your problems head on.

    My former boss said it best when he told me "You are so strong, events that make others curl up in a ball and die, you face and work thru like a champ!".

    If I ever get a tattoo, it's going to be "This too shall pass". Cause it's true, if you give it time, feel the pain and emotions, and work thru it, it passes. Control your thoughts and focus on YOU. I highly recommend the book "Don't Let Your Kids Kill You". Out of all the books I've read (and lately I've read a lot on drugs/addiction). This one was the best - I've read it twice and turn to it daily.
  15. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Today was a good day. We had a fun time with my sisters young family watching them and the magic that is Christmas for young ones. The weather is very mild so my son and sister and I went for a long walk. It was wonderful, he has always been special to my sister and I think her adoration did both his and my heart good.

    She knows of his drug use, but thinks it's behind us. I don't really want to worry her right now. I am enjoying not talking about it and just trying to live in the moment this little slice of normality is for us. Spending the day together, eating, laughing, it's so soothing to my hurt heart.

    I am not naive.... I know this is only a small reprieve, and when we get home it could all be right back in my face. I'm hoping this time is good for his soul too. It is exhausting being who he is right now. I know he isn't happy with his choices.

    I am hoping that we all go home next week a little less battered... Ours hearts hurting a little less.

    It has been really helpful reading your responses... I so appreciate the time you have taken to respond to me. I am very grateful to have found this site in one of my sleepless nights.

    I loved the post about finding the positive in our child's battle, finding the hope. I am someone who looks for the good in all people, and I want to do the same for my son, despite my intense disappointment in his current choices. I work with kids everyday who amaze me with their resilience and I know he can do it too. I think what hurts is that I have so many kids who depend on me for support but my own son won't .... I know that isn't unique
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I was like this. I have a profession that is a helping profession. I work with people worse than my son who trusted me. Who confide in me and depend upon my integrity and my caring and my responsibility to them. Like you do.

    It devastated me that I felt such anger for my own child who I could not accept as he was.

    I see it now as my issue. I wanted him to be as I wanted him to be. What a set up for both of us.

    He is he. You are you.

    It is exciting. Tremendous. Freeing. When we begin to see it that way.

    Now I only expect that he treat me well. By that I mean respect my limits, that I have made explicit. That is all.

    I have gratitude when he does that. Of course I want more for him. But I have learned that my wanting does not any good. It gets in the way.

    I am free now. He is too. To be who he chooses. Me, I can do what I want and need now. Focus on me. I could never have imagined how liberating that would be.

    I am hopeful. I am hopeful for you. We will be OK. Our sons will be OK, too. I know that now. My son on his own terms, not on mine.

    I am so glad you are here. Glad you have found us. Keep posting. It helps to post. Merry Christmas. So pleased for you and and your child that today was a good one.

  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Colleen, I am glad you were able to have a nice time with family for Christmas, it can make a big difference. It is so wonderful that your sister has a special love for your son. Everyone deserves to be loved and cherished. The more love he sees and feels, the better, that's what I think.
    I think it is kind and good that you do not worry your sister. Take this time to breathe and enjoy, to relax and have fun with family.
    I hope that your son is reminded how very precious this is.

    It is all a part of this journey. Of course you are not naive. There is nothing wrong with changing your focus, enjoying the sweetness of life. It is a good switch from the everyday routine, and hopefully will give your son a different perspective.
    It will be okay, Colleen, whatever the outcome, it will be okay.
    Oh did you see the Viktor Frankl video? I love this too, that we can see the search for meaning and purpose in our adult children.... I just received his book "Mans Search for Meaning" and hope to learn much from it. Copa is correct, when we see our children this way, it is freeing. It may not be the path we would have them on, but, they are living their lives....
    You know this is probably only temporary, Colleen. You sound like a wonderful person, working and volunteering in a profession that reaches out to kids. I am sure many children have benefitted from your care.
    Sometimes our kids just naturally resist Mom or Dads advice, it is a way to assert their independence. One day, someday, they will come around full circle........
    I am so glad you had a chance to breathe, and have a good Christmas Day.

    Peace be to you and yours,
  18. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I feel like I'm in a bubble this week. Older son has been wonderful, playing with his young cousins, being sweet and helpful with everything. How can it all go so well here and then when we get home, it all goes so wrong? He hasn't used in a week, and since we are not even in the same country he isn't texting or talking to his friends.

    He talks about going to university again after Xmas, and I don't know how he is paying... With drug money? How do I turn a blind eye to that?

    I want so bad to believe in him, he really is a smart and kind soul, I still can't beleive he has been a dealer... He was the kid no one would have expected to choose this. He always cared about others and has tons of empathy. When he was in grade nine we even volunteered together at the soup kitchen for a year.

    I feel like it makes no sense. I have always thought he was undiagnosed ADD, but since he had good grades and was never in trouble in school I figured he had it managed. I'm now wondering if that is why it falls apart for him now, without the structure school gave him. We always had him in sports too, and he was usually the captain and mvp of the team. I think not playing on teams has been a contributor to his depression... He needs to be active physically. We have tried to encourage him and even paid for new equipment ( he lost?? His original gear) and signed him up for an intremural team at the university. More money we have wasted.... He never goes.

    I know I'm rambling... I find my thoughts are so jumbled and do that. I wonder all the time at what point did he go from an all A student and athlete to a druggie??? It happened so fast and it's so scary.

  19. Coping11

    Coping11 New Member

    Welcome, from another new member. I sympathize with your situation. I encourage you to call the police when he gets violent; you must make it clear that such behavior is not acceptable in your home.

    When my daughter was 13, we had her admitted to her first treatment center. Because of the extreme situation she was in, and because of her extreme resistance to treatment back then (which sometimes caused her to become violent physically), we decided to send our son to our relatives' for the night and had people come to our home to forcible take her there. She went kicking and screaming. In her case, her health was compromised (she suffers from eating disorders), so we felt that that was warranted. I don't know if you feel the same, since your child is not in a life-threatening condition (at least not right now...)
    The biggest issue is, that you can't control him. Even if you do somehow convince him to go, you cannot force him to really be helped by the program. This is his journey. There's nothing we can do about that.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It is illegal to take an adult anywhere against his will for treatment even if he has life threatening illness. Only the police will take him if he is violent and thry will decide if he goes to the emergency room or jail. They will also take you if you are acting out suicidal behavior. After eighteen our parental role legally diminishes.

    Colleen, your sons ectreme changed behavior makes sense to me. Although there is a slight chance that he has developed a mental illness, more likele it is drug use and is likely more severe drug use than you know. They lie when they use drugs. They swear they stopped when they didnt. They swear its just pot. They however still hang with drug users and dont change.

    Talk is cheap. Often they tell us what we want to hear to get back on our good side and get money or a car or something else from us. Their actual behavior at home and in the outside world is their real story. You would see a huge change if he quit. Do you see that? New friends who are clean?

    Drug addiction is ugly and hard to quit and changes the person but its not your fault. I would not sebd him to college on my dime if it were me. He needs to get well first. Being clean a few days, if he has been, is not enough, especially if he is not seeking outside help to aid him in staying sober.

    Of course this is just my take on things.

    Try to find some peace for yourself today. You matter as much as he does. Hugs!!!