Phone or no phone?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Carolita2, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Son and girlfriend go homeless tomorrow. They have to leave the,apartment we have been renting for for nearly a year. With outside help, alanon, naranon, and the great people on this website, we terminated the lease, refused to fix the car ($3000), cancelled insurance and have paid no bills..they have lost everything. car, their instruments, computer, tablets, etc..It is small comfort that son is not alone...He is over 3000 miles away which has pros and cons..
    The only thing they have left is a phone girlfriend's dad gave them about 3 weeks ago (they lost theirs).
    He is cancelling the phone because she won't call him. That was his only request adhe felt it was safer for them to at least have a phone.
    I was alright well you know, resigned, with all of the above but no phone is freaking me out..My hubs wants to send them one.
    If they call collect it's outrageously expensive like what it would cost for a phone per month..I feel sending them one would diminish what her father was trying to convey to her..
    Maybe in future get them a phone..
    But honestly, it makes the situation much more edgy then it already is .
    Welcome comments..

  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    It's a mixed bag....down side is it does undermine what father was trying to do...upside it does give them a way to make contact. So it really comes down to what feels better to you.

    I will tell you what worked for me in our worst times when son was homeless and on the streets.....we gave him a phone and one that was on our plan. So in the times he was not contacting us I could at least go online and see if he was using it that way I knew he was alive....but it is crazy making too. Your son is older and it might be better to just do nothing. I don't know. Either decision is ok in my opinion.
  3. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Thanks Toughlovin..yes at the end of the day, we have to be able to live with our decisions...and we will never do it perfectly...just don't want to reward irresponsible behavior but at this point not sure it matters may be more about having a speck of comfort in a tough situation..But might learn more than we want to know or be stalked for rescue..mostly thinking we should not be Johnny on the spot and get a phone before they even absorb the fact that they lost theirs. Not sure they even know they are loosing it..That's our enabling..again, caring more than they do about their issue..thanks, for your reply it helped...Carolita
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We went through the dilemma of whether to keep our daughters phone on also. I had parental controls on the phone and often had the phone turned off in order to get her to contact me because I knew that was the only way I could get her attention. But the bottom line was that I was more troubled when the phone was off and I did not hear from her so I decided to give up that fight up. I was more worried that she would have no way of contacting anyone in an emergency than trying to teach her a lesson, which was impossible at that point anyway.

    Bottom line is that you have to do what is best for you and what you can live with.
  5. worried sick mother

    worried sick mother Active Member

    My counselor tells me to disconnect the phone but I can't bring myself to do that. I provide my son a phone for my own peace of mind. My son doesn't call me or hardly ever answers my calls, he does answer my text sometimes. I look online at the phone bill and see that he's using the phone and it provides me relief.
    The bad thing that I do is look up all the numbers that he calls and text with so I can see who he associates with, it's some rough scary people. That's why my counselor says to disconnect, I sometimes drive myself crazy.
    I think it's easy to give someone else advice but when it comes to your own that advice is hard to take. My counselor is an expert in this area, I know I should listen to him. Maybe someday
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Worried sick....I did some of the same thing checking out numbers he was in contact with which is why it is crazy making! I get why your counselor says to give up the phone but in wouldn't do it either. However i do suggest you set some limits on yourself...just check the phone log once a day and don't try to figure out who he is calling! Hard to do but better for you.
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Worried sick I was just like TL, I was overboard in checking my daughter's every move down to looking up numbers that she called or texted. I am in no position to judge. I did what I thought I had to do at the time to survive. At some point I stopped looking but that took a long time and distance.
  8. I was wrestling with the same decision last week. Do I keep the phone that we pay for on, or do I turn it off? I decided to turn it off. First I sent him a text message saying I loved him and that I forgave him (because I didn't want guilt to stand in the way of recovery should he ever choose that ) but that I couldn't be a party to helping him slowly kill himself and I felt by letting him have the phone is just gave him easier access to his drug dealers. But that's what I did. You have to do what's right for you. There are no right or wrong decisions. hugs, L
  9. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Thanks for all of your posts..Sometimes I just think this is just so unreal what we have to deal with..alot of real tough decisions..How do we do it? Just wish I could planning to visit my son and girlfriend, going to see the sights in the beautiful state they live in. Share a meal, talk about their dreams and plans for themselves, reminisce about our history as a family...oops sorry...back to reality...
    It helps to know that there is wiggle room with this phone issue what I mean by that is that I am desperately trying to make good and wise decisions. .. ..I think for our sakes and in the name of safety, we would go with the phone..but that's today...but meanwhile girlfriend's dad decided that too! Texted and said he is giving it another month, whew, no decision..a vacation! Funny how sometimes have such resolve, usually when I'm frustrated and angry, then can flip into grief and sadness afraid to act at all. Learning here to think, bounce things off others in this group first, and pause instead of the knee jerk reactions.
    Thank you friends so glad we are walking the path together and not alone...
  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    The universe has answered.....good for you Carolita.

    I am glad there was a solution for you. You have come so far.

    One day, who knows, your happy vision of a wonderful visit may happen.

    In the mean time, take time to take good care of yourself!

  11. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Carolita,

    I'm glad the phone situation has been resolved for now!

    They need to go apply for a free phone. They can do this online.

    Did you ever figure out if the car is in your name?
  12. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member


    Just want to send my thoughts to you on this day.

    I know this will be a difficult day, and the days to come will be as well.

    How are you doing?


  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, I will be a dissenter. There is no reason that you should be paying the bill for a phone for two able bodied adults. Not to mention, if they are getting food stamps, they are also eligible for an Obama phone. My daughter was automatically eligible in her state. They can get a free basic phone (not a smart phone) and ten free minutes a month and then can buy additional minutes for a nominal fee. The thinking is that unemployed people need a phone to find a job or for emergencies.

    My daughter refused to apply for the free phone since it wasn't a smart phone. Her sense of entitlement never ceases to amaze me.

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  14. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Different providers have different plans.

    I know that some give 250 or more minutes per month free as well as unlimited texting. Of course, it is probably a flip-phone but it's free and very generous of them to offer this.
  15. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    So glad the dad is giving them another month. It's kick the can down the road..Just one less less thing.. for today.
    Great info about the phones, though and thanks for the belly laugh on the entitlement mentality, sad but true..hard to imagine paying nada after 14 months of paying out big bucks..that's a relief but a reminder of the fact that they have nothing now besides the food stamps.
    Thanks Apple for remembering that today is the day..Not a word so far..He alluded to the fact that it might be better, no contact with us, in our last conversation. .Edgy, it's an edgy statement...maybe nothing nefarious behind it, maybe he knows no contact is whst he needs..That our enabling has disabled him.
    I notice today I'm anxious, hubs too..just knowing something is changing but that awful feeling of not knowing..I actually feel a little crazy, wild, maybe panic..on this website, I think someone wrote about feelings passing through, how long they last..
    I am waiting for others to show up for this Naranon meeting, then off to my portrait class, 3 hours long..yes keeping busy, it used to work well..If all else fails there's always eating, lol..the humor always shows up too..Not being flip it was just how we rolled growing up with alcoholism...
    Thank you thank you...xxcarolita
  16. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Quick correction: it's not an "Obama Phone". The plan was developed and pushed by George W Bush, and funded initially by Congress during Bush's 2nd term.

    If they draw food stamps, yes,they are eligible for the plan. Not only can they buy extra minutes very cheaply, they can also purchase rebuilt upgraded phones at a reasonable price.

    Another route to go is to get him a Cricket or Kajeet or similar phone...locked down so that they can only call you, her father, and whatever other numbers you and the girlfriend's father agree upon.

    That way, the safety issue is taken care of, as they can reach immediate family for help, all cellphones are required by law to be able to reach 911 even without service, and they can still receive inbound calls.

    If he needs to be able to reach another number, say potential employers (you verify this), it's a matter of a few seconds to add those numbers to his OK list.

    My bet is that he'll tell you to stick that phone where the sun don't shine.

    Actually, if he registers with job services, or is using a shelter, they will have some sort of arrangement where he can use a phone to contact potential employers, or at least vo-rehab/job services will.

    ANYTHING you can do to avoid providing him with the means to contact his "suppliers", etc., while still providing him the means to contact you,
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    While the problem is kicked down the road I want to pipe in. I agree with Kathy. To buy and pay for a phone seems both to undermine the Dad and to be inconsistent with all the other great stuff you have done. My son has been gone 4 years and has rarely had his own phone. He borrows them.

    If you buy one, it does not mean he will call. Or that he will answer you. To wit: Her Dad's situation.

    You are doing great.

  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Carolita Hope all is well with you.
    It is normal to feel anxiety, the not knowing can be hard, something to adjust to. When we change our patterns it does take time to get used to. We all go through stages, it is kind of a grieving process.The feelings come and go, it is important to acknowledge them, and work through it. You have come so far in a short time.
    This is your journey, your process. Everyone is unique in their way of dealing with it all.
    I am glad you are keeping busy. How are you liking Naranon? And portrait class, I have done some portrait work, but mostly work with clay lately. I have plans after clay class to do some painting, never really took classes in painting, but would like to one day.
    Good for you Carolita.
    You are doing very, very well.
    Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing. Your strength is inspiring.

    Take care
  19. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Thanks Leafy for this response...Loved the canoe video, great metaphor for life and this crazy experience with Difficult Child's..
    Naranon. It's a new meeting 3 of us are starting....Out of the 3 of us, one son is in prison, one is in psychiatric hospital with alcoholism and my son is homeless? (unconfirmed) ... We use the literature Naranon and will be studying the 12 steps of recovery...The meeting could grow, attendence wise once we get rolling or not...I find 12 step recovery programs extemely helpful as I do this website. Another tool to help navigate these rough waters.
    We have not heard word one from son and girlfriend and have not called them so do not know if they left the apartment...Hubs spoke to him 2 days ago and he made a few disturbing comments, not unlike him, like. you probably would prefer it if I died then you wouldn't have to worry about all this. Hubs said no, we love you and think you can work through this.
    That's the struggle for me right now..My gut says don't call them, but my guilt says, what kind of mother doesn't call her child when we know what he is facing?..But honestly I just can't deal with the crisis right now I'm protecting my heart..only been a week since hospital..Can't believe what stress can do...I am physically strong but this year it just took it's toll on us, one if the reasons we had to let him go...
    I know this is a crap shoot right now..that he and girlfriend could go further down the tubes...but us being so involved really hasn't helped anything. So that's letting go, I guess, learning to live with uncertainty..which we have been doing all along but felt like we had some control and we never did..It was an illusion.
    The car we bought him, the last one, sits on a street in a residential area, in a city, I have never been to..registered in my name but the registration has expired, my son has it so I consider it lost..He loses everything..the tags are on the car.I think we have a few more days (30) before impound. We are going to ask the guy who repaired the car to remove tags and toss, keep the car. Why haven't we done so??Thinking they may sleep in for a night or two..Just didn't have the heart to close that option that Difficult Child mentionned they might use for a few nights..choice we made..
    It feels so freeing to put this out to all of you or whoever may this works I guess...Love you all, and so glad to be part of this..
  20. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Wow. That is great information about the phones, all of it..Cricket included..So glad posts are saved. Will reread..when time comes..guess you have been here, done this..
    Thanks, Carolita