On the verge of giving up

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I talked to my son today. It was actually a pleasant conversation for once. BUT...after less than a week he's thinking about leaving rehab because "It's like being in jail. There are too many rules." I'm fairy certain he only went into rehab after he got evicted and then kicked out of his boyfriend's mom's house because it was either rehab or the streets. So I can only take his desire to quite the program to mean that he has somewhere to crash if he does.

    I'm so close to done with this......
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You cannot control what he does. You can want him to be sober more than he does, but that still won't make him sober. Trust me, I was in that state for a looooooong time with my brother.

    Sometimes the addict in our lives only realizes what an awful mess they have made once the problem is truly theirs to deal with. This means that by "giving up" and letting the problem be FULLY the addict's problem, and by not "helping" the addict with money, shelter or other resources, sometimes it starts to let the addict actually see how bad things have gotten. Of course that is not instant, it still takes time. Addicts need time in that state, so we have to be consistent in whatever message we send them.

    One thing that I found INCREDIBLY helpful while dealing with addicts/alcoholics is this: whatever mean, ugly, truly VILE things they say to get you to give them what they want, it is usually the substances talking. Once the PERSON is clean and sober, they often feel a HUGE sense of shame for the way they spoke to those who loved them. I have seen it in my brother, and in many other people I know who have substance abuse issues. When dealing with someone who is using, I imagine I am talking to the bottle or pill, not the person. Then the ugliness is easier to put aside as I do what I need to do in order to not enable and to maintain my healthier boundaries.

    It is important to realize how much YOU need support and help in this situation, not just how much the addict does. Therapy and/or Alanon/Narcanon can be incredibly supportive to you during this time.

    And it is okay to realize that "Giving Up" is just another phase of this process.
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi. Laura.

    I can only say this. My own son did the same. He saw programs as flophouses to utilize for short term housing. He still does.

    Except this time is a little bit different; he went to the sober living for housing. That is true. But I think he no longer wants to tolerate the extremities of life that he encounters away from a program. The homelessness and couch surfing. Us throwing him out.

    The house leader there is in his sixties. He said this. It may not be consoling to you but I believe it is real.

    He said: all the other times I went into treatment to avoid something worse. Like prison.

    I commented: and you had a lot of fun while your were out there. Yeah. He smiled. I had fun.

    And the turning point for him? When his wife finally left him for good and he knew it. And it was not fun. Not anymore.

    We have no control. They live this way as long as they choose it. I wish it was different. I hope you keep posting. Take care
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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I wrote a post awhile back about giving up. I had just heard the Jason Mraz song "I won't give up" and it made me think real hard about all of the energy I had vested in my two, raising them, loving them, then the turmoil of their downfall with drugs and how much that had just infected me. It was as if I was synchronistically going down the rabbit hole with them. Giving up sounded like abandonment, like losing hope, so I changed it to giving in. I know, its just words. I do believe that thoughts and words have power.
    So I pondered on the whole idea of acceptance, which is a hard concept in of itself. Who can accept that their beloved adult child is a drug addict? That their lives are so fraught with drama and chaos? Actually the more I said "This is not them" and thought of them as children, all of those memories of raising them, the more I thought it was my duty to "rescue" them.
    When I gave in to the reality that this is them, on drugs, choosing as they do and reaping the consequences of those choices, I was able to separate myself slowly from the desire to try to change what I had and have absolutely no control over. I don't like their choices and the resulting homelessness, but I know I am not going to fix any of that. I haven't given up on the hope that one day, they may see the light and find their potential, but I have given in to the fact that they will choose as they do, no matter what I say, or do.
    It has given me a different perspective and helped me to switch focus to what I can control, my reaction to their dilemma. Like anything else, it takes work and training to not slip backwards into being so caught up in their circumstances and the complete waste of time and life. There are times when sadness washes over me, but I find that prayer helps tremendously. I love them. I wish the best for them. But, they must decide what road they will walk on. I can't protect them from their choices. They will learn, or not.
    This is all so hard to witness. Please make sure to be kind to yourself and take care of you.I think that is the best thing we can do for our wayward adult kids, model the self care we wish they would practice.
    It is okay to be done with all of the shenanigans. It is so unhealthy and stressful. I looked up and said "Lord, I give my two back to you, please watch over and take care of them, it is too much for me to handle." It is part of my daily prayers. This has given me much relief. If you have faith, go there. If not, (no judgement everyone has their own beliefs), but finding something to focus on, to bring you peace of mind, outside of what is going on with your son, is so important.
    You have value and worth, you matter.
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  5. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    I love this Leaf. "Give in ... " Love it! It reminds me of a favorite quote:

    When you say "yes" to the "isness" of life, when you accept this moment as it is, you can feel a sense of spaciousness within you that is deeply peaceful." - Eckhart Tolle

    Surrendering to "what is" brings a freedom and release that restores your power and peace.
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I know how you feel. Letting go is not always easy but is necessary for our own survival. I think it's easy to get lost in our "hope", hoping they will do better, hoping they will make better choices, hoping they will get clean and sober, etc.... Of course we hope these things for our children but if we don't temper it with reality we will never get past it. I allow myself to hold onto 1% of hope for my son. I'm not giving up on him, I'm just not going to exert my precious energy worrying and wondering if and when all the things I "hope" for him will come to pass.
    Our freedom from this craziness is within the acceptance. It's through accepting that our difficult adult children are going to live lives that make our skin crawl that we can truly let go of them. I will never like the life choices my son has made but I also know that people can change the course of their lives anytime they want to. Yes, 1% of hope is enough for me, this way I'm never disappointed by him and my mommy heart is protected.
    Letting go means that we will no longer allow them to hold our emotions hostage or use our emotions against us.
    Letting go means we take OUR lives back, we find our center of gravity again, we live for ourselves again, we laugh again, we find joy again.

    Make sure to scroll all the way down to see both sayings.
    ((HUGS)) to you..........

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  7. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    Beautiful quotes. Letting go is not easy.
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  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The word courage shares it root with the French word for heart, which comes from a Latin root with the same meaning.

    So it seems that for thousands of years we as mothers in order to love best have had to be brave. I am wondering why this link has in our culture been suppressed.

    Moms and apple pie.

    Mother's milk.

    The soft, nurturing and passive aspect of the feminine not the warrior.

    How much we are served to resurrect this warrior, our fiercer and savage face of love. Which was always there.
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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  9. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Thank you all so much. I am just now reading this because I have been sick with...I don't know...flu? bronchitis?...and am still getting over it. The upside to being sick is that for the past week or so I literally have not had the time or energy to put a lot of thought into my son's drama.

    I have talked to him a couple of times but briefly and with no commentary from me on his choices. He told me yesterday that he got kicked out of rehab for arguing with a staff member. He said they said he was being aggressive, and he said he was not. I don't really believe him, though. A couple of days before that he told me that some of his friends got kicked out for having alcohol and he was considering quitting. So I'm thinking he either quit and didn't want to tell me that, or he was, in fact, behaving aggressively. I can easily see that happening.

    I have no idea where he is sleeping tonight and I honestly haven't given it much thought. I'm sure he'll work something out, be it a shelter, someone's couch, or another program. I did put a little money on his transit card so he can get to a job interview tomorrow. I had told him I would send him money for his birthday at the rehab but since that had not happened yet I just put the money on his card instead. He also asked me for money to get back and forth to work, if he gets the job, until his first paycheck. I told him probably not, since the last time we did that, he got fired (or quit?) within the first week. Since he lost his job at the bank he doesn't have a track record that inspires me to help him at all. He doesn't stick with anything or follow through on anything. He has much to prove to me and to himself before I will help him further.

    And yes I'm wide awake...but this time it's not from worrying over him. My cold/flu medications have me a little hyper and when I lie down I go into coughing fits. I'll probably end up sleeping or dozing sitting up because it's the only way I can breathe without coughing or wheezing. Anyway, thanks again for the supportive comments. I'll reread them in the next day or so when I can comprehend more. And absolutely I will keep posting! Try and stop me! LOL
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well. It must be in the water. My son got suspended for 2 weeks from the sober living for....an aggressive verbal response...to the house leader.

    I hope you feel better soon.
  11. magnolia26

    magnolia26 ... the sound of an iron trap door closing ...

    Hi. I'm sorry you're going through this. When you say you're close to done, I can't help but think that even that is more effort into your son than he's putting in since it sounds like he's all the way done. If he's not putting in the time, how can your time help him at all? Sending love and light and support for a difficult situation.
  12. Heavy hearted

    Heavy hearted Member

    Tanya M
    AMEN to your post. I truly feel that given time , I will gain the confidence that you have learned. Accepting my son's choices have been almost unbearable! This is what I needed to hear. I know there will be set backs and that's ok. You have made me think about that 1%. Maybe I was setting the stakes too high. From now on it will be that 1%.
  13. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Read my newest post. Letting go has helped me to accept the bad and embrace the good...and right now it's good. I wish the same for you!