Oh what a night! Dropped son off at detox at 3am

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by RN0441, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. RN0441

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

    I am at work and so tired right now. I work with steel executives and really have to keep it together and most unfortunately I think I'm becoming a pro at it as of this writing. Maybe numb is the word.

    My 20 year old Difficult Child son has been on a binge for about a month now on and off. Last night was the final straw. After we went to bed he stole my new car. My last car had electrical problems so it was with great pains that we had no choice but to trade it in and purchased this car. He actually took a lot of time and difficulty to dislodge the garage door opener so we would not hear it so he could open it manually. However our bedroom is above driveway and we literally had just shut off the TV so we heard car. My husband hopped out of bed and got in his car to try to follow him after he fixed the garage door. He then called him and told him to get home or we were calling the police.

    When he got home I was worried my husband would hit him because we are so frayed and angry but he just yelled at him "why would you do this to us" and that he was going to be evicted which is something we have been threatening if he did not follow our rules (so far has not). In Illinois that is the law if your adult child won't leave on their own.

    Flashback earlier last night when I got home from work Difficult Child asked me to take him to community college bookstore to get a book and get a school ID. He takes 2 classes but has been on binge ever since school started saying his anxiety etc. so not sure school was a good idea. One class is not at main campus so small setting and other class is online so think he uses this as an excuse. He is also on Effexor and started seeing a psychologist weekly for anxiety (week 2 in). Not sure how else we can fix anxiety. He was high when I took him but I just wanted to get it over with. While we were gone my husband found weed, beer and whiskey in his room. How can any of it work when he self medicates?

    We finally got to bed and then at 3am my son started texting me that he wished I could put a bullet in his head so he doesn't have to live this horrible life any longer or he would slit his wrists etc. etc. and that he will kill himself by the end of the night. My husband felt he was trying to control me as we've been through this before but I was afraid not to respond. I did get up and take him to a psychiatric hospital that has a detox unit (he was there in July for benzos). (Like I could sleep after all this crap). There he told them he had been taking Clonopin and Opiates and needed to detox. He had gotten 60 Clonopin 1mg from the ER last week somehow. When the nurse went to copy my insurance card he pulled out 2 yellow pills and told me they were clonopin and took them on the spot. I told her when she got back and she said that he now had to go to ER. I showed her texts of his threats on his life but when they asked him about it he denied he was suicidal. He was somewhat of a jerk to the nurses and I was very embarrassed.

    At that point they took him in for vitals etc. and said they would transport him by ambulance to the ER and then back to their facility (literally a block away) and that I could leave so I did. I have not heard anything yet but we want him to go to rehab. He is probably mad that I left but I don't care. He did this to himself and I need to remove myself from all this drama. He insists he needs to go to class since he is doing very well but I think his mental health is more important. He has used our credit cards this past month without our permission for small purchases and sold a computer that wasn't working that we told him not to sell. We hide our keys, purse etc. each night when he is like this. I am so sick of living like this. I feel we are enabling him by letting him live with us and using drugs.

    HELP ME I can't see the forest for the trees.
  2. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    First off, read the article on detachment. It has some wonderful advice. Secondly, take it for what its worth but my advice to you would be to start calling the police. Theft, breaking and entering, grand theft auto. These are all potential felonies. If you keep letting him do this without consequences, he may end up in prison.

    We kicked out son out for stealing from us. I refuse to lock my bedroom door, lock my keys and wallet up, and other "precautions" against our Difficult Child. I work in a prison, I WON'T live in one. That being said, it never got to the point for us to have to have him arrested for stealing. He never used our debit or credit cards or took a vehicle without our permission. While I would like to hope that he still had enough respect for us not to do these things, the reality is that he knew I wouldn't have hesitated to have him arrested for this.

    Here's the rub though. You might not be willing to do this, and that's fine. This is your journey, not mine. You will receive lots of advice on this site from people with lots of varied experiences but none of us are you. Take what works for you and ignore the rest. Some things said will sound a bit harsh. Remember that we are all different people at different points of different, albeit similar, journeys so aren't trying to be mean. We are just responding based on our experiences.

    Welcome and good luck!
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Im sorry for your pain.
    You are allowing him to steal from you and use drugs without consequences. He is selling things for drug money. Thats what they do. That is why he sold the computer.
    When you get tired of this, you will likely make him leave. Living with you will not help him quit. He will not feel gratitude or even think about your feelings because he is focused on his next drug fix. He is under the disease of addiction. It is a serious illness that only he can cure. Many addicts need shock and awe from us to decide to change.
    You have to decide how to handle it. Helping an addict have an easy time and no consequences usually doesnt work.
    Most of out adult kiddos who change do it while they are out on their own without our help. You may get to that point.
    Hugs for your hurting heart.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  4. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    Jabberwockey's advice might seem harsh, but he's an adult who is committing crimes against you. If you call the police you might be able to get a Protective Order which means he couldn't live in your house anymore. The unfortunate reality is that until you're willing to do these very hard things, he's going to keep victimizing you. It's good you took his suicide threats seriously and brought them to the attention of the people in the hospital. I know you're in a tough, lonely place because I've been there.
  5. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    More than likely, your husband is right. Our addicted Difficult Child's are masters of manipulation. They tug at our heart strings, make us feel guilty for circumstances that we didn't cause, and do things to try to get us to let our guard down. When he talks of suicide, call the police. If he is serious then they will get him help. If he isn't, well lets just say that a few trips to the hospital escorted by the police is usually enough to discourage any more of these types of calls.
  6. RN0441

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

    I seriously appreciate any advice and I don't think it's harsh or mean believe me. I finally heard from him. I didn't ask but obviously he was admitted.

    He just called and said "do not cancel my classes". Well I can't cancel them even if I wanted to because he has to do it although we are paying for them but he doesn't know that. I feel like he is holding us hostage with these two classes and the odd thing is this is the only positive thing he has done in many years so I do hate to cancel them and he is getting A's. I told him that we don't want him back in the house and he has to get serious about getting sober first and he hung up on me.

    This is me probably being stupid but I feel if we call police/press charges then when he turns this around (notice I am hopeful and say when) he'll have a record and not be able to get a job etc. Any ideas on this? Anyone else feel this way?
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'm Jabber's wife. As he said, we never called the police, though we could have. We did go to a pawn shop and reclaim some property once, which caused him to be blocked from any pawnshop in the area...but we did not have him arrested. When he came back from college (trust me when I say you are doing much better there than us - ours just stayed in the dorm and got stoned and never attended a class at all) we warned him that any more stealing would be the end and the police would be called...but he took cash and in the end, I couldn't do it. Instead, we put him out.

    So...my personal take on it is this. What's been done is done. IF you let him come home, THEN you tell him, "This is it. No more warnings. Next time we call the cops. Period." And then do it if it happens again. (Do as I say, not as I did.)

    I personally wouldn't do it for anything in the past at this point. But that's me. As for job...well...that is the natural consequence of getting arrested. But that is something to definitely consider...might put that in the warning to him.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  8. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Just so you know, its my job to help prepare the offenders for the job hunt when they get out. Success comes for them the same as it does anybody else, because they've had the right attitude and put out enough effort. Once someone has a felony conviction it just means that they have to put out that much more effort is all. I see people every day who fail because of poor attitude or lack of effort but I also see those who persevere and succeed. The simple fact of the matter is that the only time a felony conviction kills all employment possibilities is when the person allows it to.
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi RN,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. I've been there and I know all the feelings that go along with it.
    There is no betrayal quite like that of your own child stealing from you.

    I can tell you what my husband and I did when our son stole from us, we called the police and had him arrested. It took time to lead up to this, you see it started out small, a few dollars here and there missing from my purse or husbands wallet. Then he graduated to more money. At the time I kept a good amount of cash in the home and I thought I had it very well hidden. We had a waterbed that had a bookcase headboard. There was a hollow space up underneath the headboard. I had taped an envelope with $3000 cash up underneath the headboard, well my son found it and stole it. Of course he denied it but I knew better so I called the police and had him arrested. The officer told us we should get a safe to keep our emergency cash in so we did. My son stole the whole safe!! To get to the safe he had to get through our locked bedroom door; he took a hammer and beat a hole about a foot in size to get in. I called the police and reported it. The police caught him and I got the safe back intact.

    My son was also "attending" college, at least that's what he told me of course he wasn't. He went on an on about how great he was doing in his classes. Nothing but lies. My son was using drugs and drinking. He would tell me what he thought I wanted to hear that way he could continue to manipulate me into giving him money. I am so grateful that the veil was removed from eyes and I saw my son for what he was, a liar and an addict.

    I have also dealt with the threats of suicide and thankfully, that's all they were. I do believe with my son, your son and many here that they are tired of living their lives the way they are. They like it when they are high but when then come down suddenly they hate everything and everyone. You did the right thing by getting him to the hospital.

    It took me years to finally detach from the drama and chaos my son caused. I kept thinking "this time he will change"
    I can't say that I regret hanging on for as long as I did as I don't want to live with regret but I do wish I would have detached sooner than I did. I know that I did all could to try and help my son but here's the catch, the word "help" I never helped my son I only enabled him to continue his lies and manipulation.

    You can only do what you are comfortable with but please remember, your life, your health - physical and mental, your peace, they all matter. It's okay to let go of your son and to take your life back.

    I'm glad you are here with us. Keep posting and let us know how things are going.

    ((HUGS)) to you.............

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  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    RN, I am sorry for all of this. Your son IS holding you hostage. These kids are very smart and they know just how to get us....with our heartstrings.
    So he is getting A's in two classes, awesome, but see what he is doing? He is holding this over you, to do whatever else he wants to do. The attitude, hanging up on you, ugh.
    Reading your post brings back to so many memories......
    With me, it wasn't A's, it was my grandkids. We put up with all kinds of nonsense for our grandkids. Got walked on over and again. It was all wrong. See, we thought we were saving our grandkids and their parents, nothing could be further from the truth. Looking back, they used the grands as a sort of hypnotic bargaining chip that led us to keep playing their game. The game is, you do for me, and I will do whatever I want. What happened is we started to lose ourselves in the muck and mire of it all. The kids saw this, and capitalized on it. Took more and more advantage of us, because they knew they could. It became a pattern, we gave, they took.
    It is like domestic violence, where the victim is slowly drawn into this web of violence. We were being violated, taken advantage of, and we didn't even see it.
    We are victimized and traumatized by what the kids are doing. We begin to rationalize and cover over transgressions that we would not accept from anyone else. They are our kids, we want the best for them, so it is understandable how this happens. Before we can even realize what is going on, we have been abused and manipulated a thousand times.
    Left in this desperate state.
    It is here, that our kids want us to remain. In this desperate and broken state, they have got us.
    Here, we cannot move forward and are barraged by guilt, worry and fear, weakened and paralyzed.
    Our adult children become more and more brazen.
    Our kids take more chances with us, more advantage of us, because they know they can.
    They lose respect for us, because we have lost it for ourselves, we put their futures ahead of whatever the heck they do to us and themselves.
    This enables them to be able to keep going off the rails.
    It is a game no one wins at.
    We lose ourselves, the kids keep pushing the limits, we don't want to do anything about it for fear of what will happen to them.
    The kids keep pushing because there are either no consequences, or the consequences do not fit the transgression.
    They know how to keep us in the game, and will keep pushing until we do something.
    It is a vicious cycle.

    Stealing your brand new car?
    The ultimate, disregard, disrespect, in your face "What are you going to do about this?" move.

    Our kids stole from us, broke into our home, brought shady characters over, lied, used drugs, claimed depression and illness so they didn't have to do anything. Slept all day, partied at night. On and on. It was horrible. In actuality, they were depressed when they were not high. They were deep into drugs, and we were not even aware, because we were so focused on working and trying to care for the grands. They had us by the nostrils, hook, line and sinker.

    The disrespect continued, because the drug use continued and the attitude of entitlement and thinking that our love for them as parents should override anything and everything they did.

    What I have realized at this point RN, that my love for them should have stopped the madness long ago.
    The more I gave in and worried more for them, the more they took advantage and continued as is.

    Nothing changes, if nothing changes.

    What I have learned, truly is that love says NO!
    No more will I put up with this.
    No more, will I cover for you.

    We teach others to respect us, by having self respect.

    Boundaries, limits.

    One of the most important things I have learned is that I cannot save or rescue my d cs from the choices they make.
    To keep doing so, is the opposite of love, because I just prolonged the agony, theirs, and ours as parents.

    I learned from the article on detachment and the good folks on this site, that our adult kids have got to learn from their choices, that is how we all learn.

    It is about understanding there are consequences for actions.

    The more I swooped in to rescue my kids from their consequences, the less they learned to navigate life.
    What they did learn, and I unknowingly reinforced it with my response to their dilemma, was this......
    "Mom will save me, no matter what I do, Mom will be my safety net."

    The result of all the saving, was they really resented it.
    I was teaching them that they were not capable.

    Our kids are meant to go out in the world and figure out their meaning and purpose.
    This was not happening, because I was in the way.

    It is like teaching a kid to ride a bike, but never taking the training wheels off.
    That's it, we are too afraid of them falling.....
    but sometimes they have to fall to learn how to find balance.

    Whatever you do in your sons case is up to you.
    You have done much work already by being here and posting.
    Listen to your inner voice and reread what you have written.
    Our posts are a history of events, responses and patterns of not only our children,
    but how we have handled what is happening.
    The classes come up again.
    He can go to college and take classes at anytime in his life.
    He is doing so well in these classes, but not so well in LIFE.
    Life is more important then A's.
    You are spot on in the above post.
    Good for you RN, you are thinking about this.
    That is the first step, to really think about it.
    The more you think, feel and write, the closer you will come to trying to change your patterns.

    This desperation the kids keep us in, prevents us from action.
    It is stressful and wearisome.
    It is hard to break free of this.
    We have all been there, RN, so please do not be mean to yourself.


    This detachment article is good to read over and over again.
    It helped me to see the truth of what was happening and to take steps, little steps to change.
    It helped me to see that I have absolutely no control over my two d cs, I only have control over myself.

    Best of all, it helped me to see the enabling.
    That what I was doing, I thought was love, was helping, but it wasn't.
    Love says NO.
    Love needs to come from us first loving ourselves,
    standing up for ourselves and having enough self respect to say NO.
    When we do this, we are teaching the kids with our actions.

    We will not be disrespected, and we will not disrespect ourselves.

    This is the BEST lesson for the kids, because when you think about it,
    drug abuse is the ultimate disrespect to self, mind, body and soul.

    So, we have got to show the kids all over again,
    how to respect themselves,
    by respecting ourselves enough as people,
    not to take what they are dishing out to us.

    To me, THAT is LOVE. True love.
    True love stands up and says "This is not right, and I will not put up with it."

    Keep posting and sharing, CD is the journal that speaks back. I have been right where you are RN, and I understand the pain and confusion of it.

    Please know that you are not alone. I am so very sorry for your heart ache.
    Stay strong and keep going one step at a time.
    We will be here for you.

  11. RN0441

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

    Leafy I did so good at work today (too exhausted to cry) but now I'm bawling at my desk. Luckily everyone is in a meeting. My desk is in a true fishbowl.

    Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. They mean so much and I will read them over and over. It helps me so much to reaffirm my own thinking.

    The three of us last night (me, husband and 28 year old) trying to get a grip on my Difficult Child taking the car, jimmying the garage, looking for flashlights, checking his room for drugs, booze, weed. PURE insanity at its finest. Dogs hiding scared shitless. I actually almost had an out of body experience visualizing it when it was happening.

    It's so therapeutic to be able to come here and get so much wisdom and insight from all of you and I thank you all from the depths of my soul for caring so much and taking the time to offer your wisdom/experience. We don't need to go into a lot of detail because we all get it. Love and prayers to all of us.
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    RN, you are going to be okay.
    We get so caught up in all the drama of this, we can't see straight. It is like an artist working up close on a mural, sometimes we just have to take a step back to see the whole picture.
    Except for us, the whole picture is not what we imagined, raising our kids. We did not imagine ever being at this crazy juncture.

    You are working very hard at looking at this and trying to figure out what to do.

    One thing that helped me, was to see things from the eyes and wisdom of my 14 year old son. He said
    "Mom, why do we have anyone living with us, who will steal from us, so that we have to put key locks on our bedroom doors and you guys keep your wallets in the car?"

    This resonated with me. It wasn't so much any more about what the kids were doing, and how lost and desperate I was feeling over their choices.

    It was what they were doing to us, and we were allowing it.

    That was an epiphany, a turning point. I am blessed to have my young son, and to think also, what I was teaching him through these crazy responses and putting up with so much disrespect.

    I was teaching him it was okay.

    If anything, keep telling yourself that by letting things slide, by continuing to step in and "help" him, you are teaching your son that what he is doing to himself, to you, to your home, your possessions, is okay.

    You will have a point where you will be able to say "this is nuts."
    You will get there.
    Because you have to.
    Not only for you, your husband and family, but for your sons sake.

    It is easy for them to do what they do to us, because we keep forgiving, keep trying.

    They think that we will put up with anything. And we have.

    Our kids have got to learn how to care for themselves, and how to care for other people.

    This, they have to learn the hard way, because it is the choice they make.

    Well, then, they need to learn the hard way.
    It does not mean we have to go the hard way with them, to feel the ramifications of their choices more than they do.

    That is what happens when we continually rescue, we feel the consequences, more than they do.........so they do not learn.

    You will get there RN, and you will be okay. Keep stepping back, and looking at the whole picture.
    It is hard, and gut wrenching.
    It is absolutely necessary to be able to see it.
    You can do this, you already are.

    It is the hardest thing known to mankind, to have an adult child go off the rails.
    We do them no good, by going off the rails right along with them.
    It is imperative, that we stay on track.
    By looking at this and writing about it, you are getting yourself together, back on track.

    You got this RN, feel what you have to feel and get it out. Keep working at it, read as much as you can, go to meetings, see a therapist, anything you can do to get yourself back on track.

    We cannot get the kids back on track, they have to be able to see it,and want it for themselves.

    Switch your focus.

    Start to focus on the only one you have control of, YOU.

    Time for you to work on YOU. This is key, to being able to make changes and respond differently.

    In order to get out of the drama, we have to look at it, and find the tools we need to rebuild ourselves, and break free.

    We are all warrior moms and dads here.
    Soldiers train hard.
    Soldiers build up an armory to help with the fight.

    The fight now, is to get out of the fog and desperation, so that you will be able to stand firm.

    Keep posting and find your shield, your armor to withstand whatever comes.
    We do the best service to our kids,
    showing them how to stand strong,
    by standing steady and strong ourselves.
    Firm in our stance that we will not put up with
    anymore craziness in our homes.

    Both feet on the ground, our brains in our heads, and our hearts guarded.

    We are not only fighting for ourselves, we are fighting for our d cs to understand what they are doing to themselves and us is unacceptable.

    We are all training right along with you.

    You will be okay dear warrior sister.

    Hang in there, you are not alone.

    Love and prayers and strength to all of us.

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  13. UpandDown

    UpandDown Active Member

    RN, I am sorry for your awful night. The chaos of it all sounds so familiar, including the dogs being scared. I am strengthened by the words and advice of the other parents here. Hang in there. You are most definitely not alone.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Being a master cynic, are you positive your son is taking classes? Are they leading to a career? In my cynical mind id wonder either if he really WAS taking a few classes (and getting As) or if some drug dealers he wants to continue to see are also there so he doesnt want to miss out.
    Yes, I am cynical. In general. But going to college classes and getting top grades does not fit in with the other parts of your sons life.
    I wonder if he is going to use it as a manipulation ("see im in college"). To this cynic, it smells fishy.

    Just my cynical thoughts. I hope im wrong. But I had a drug user too once. Her advice to other moms who like me who were fooled,"dont ever trust a drug user. They lie," it makes no sense to me that he is worried about your canceling the classes. Im wondering if he doesnt want you to find out he already quit them But again I am a cynic. I hope im all wrong.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2016
  15. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    Thinking of you.... I hope you find some peace in the midst of all this hurt and chaos.
  16. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    RN, hopefully this night brings some much needed sleep, my advice, for what it is worth....

    He is out of your house now. He is an adult, so you do not have to accept him back. Stay the course. Tell him he needs to detox, complete a treatment program, and go to a sober living home.

    Forget about school. He can repeat the classes any time in his life.

    When the detox or hospital or treatment program is ready to discharge him make sure that you make it clear to them that you cannot and will not accept him in your home. Clean out his room, pack his stuff and change the locks.

    Reiterate to him that you love him and will support any efforts he makes to get sober, but that he has breached your trust to the point where you can never feel comfortable with him in your home.

    Find your local chapter of Al-Anon/Nar-Anon. It will help.

  17. RN0441

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

    Thank you for your responses. I am not sure I could stay sane if it weren't for this board. That is scary isn't it.

    I did not talk to Difficult Child again yesterday after he hung up on me in the morning. He did leave a message to drop off a few things at the hospital which I did but did not see him.
    When he calls today (I imagine he will) I will tell him he has to go to rehab or we are going to evict him. That is what I said yesterday when he hung up. I called the police today to get advice and was told we have to go to the courthouse and get an eviction started. This takes 30 days and then we can have him removed otherwise we cannot just kick him out. He knows about his law and I just called to be sure that's our only option. So unfortunately he can legally come back to our home.

    This is all surreal to me. Is this really my life?