Please - No "I told you so"

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by missy44, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Just kiddling... you have all been so supportive of me over the last year. I was just reading through all of my old posts and can't believe the roller coaster I've been on. I like to think that when it comes to my kids, especially my difficult child and his problems, that I'm hard nosed and stick to my guns. LOL, I've been up and down like a yo yo. But, I can say that I am a work in progress. It's sad, that as parents, we have to learn words like detachment, alanon meetings, psychiatrist, drug lingo, etc...

    Well, an update. I took him back in again just over a month ago. He had managed to get a job on his own (which he still has for now, full time), but called to say that nobody wanted him anymore (friends were fed up), said he wasn't doing drugs, was willing to cooperate with our rules, pay rents, etc... he just wanted his family again. Things were great for the 1st week or so. My husband and I had drafted a 3 page contract, difficult child read it and agreed. I said to him "read it again", he did, and he signed it. This contract includes everything from doing your own laundry, to keep your room clean, to "absolutely" NO drug use, drug paraphenalia, etc... Like I said things were going well, then the disgusting room got to me, the wet towels on my floor, the dishes left in the sink, the coming in at 4:00am, sleeping all day, getting up with just 10 minutes to spare to get to work, but I let it slide (I know, I need a slap), but then the moment I was waiting for... I caught him with a bag of marijuana and his pipe, getting ready to smoke it in my bathroom. Mother's intuition, I just knew when he went up to our bathroom with his winter coat on, something was up. I busted him, took the drugs and the pipe and told him how disappointed we were. He was upset and claimed it was the first time in months (yeah right), but my husband and I gave him another chance. The next day, he was busted again.

    We have not thrown him out on the street, but we have given him 2 weeks to find a place to go or he will be on the street. I somehow think that by giving him a place to live, he would keep his job. I now realize that if he wants to keep the job, he will regardless of where he lives. I now realize that I will never open my door for him again, even if he gets the help he needs. He must do this on his own. Charging him rent for a roof over his head is still enabling. He manipulates me easily and once I'm sucked in, it's hard for me to let go. I've been through this 3 or 4 times now, each time I get stronger. Where there were tears, I now have anger and frustration. I think to myself, how dare he do this to himself, me, his siblings, etc... I think this is a better place for me to be. I'm tired of trying to fix him, I can't and won't do it anymore.

    I just need the strength to get through the next 2 weeks. I asked him to try to get out sooner than that, but the 30th would be the final day and we would pack him up and take him to the shelter.

    He seemed very *removed* from our conversation. He sounded defeated and disappointed in himself. I feel sooo relieved with the decision I've made. I'm so ready to enjoy my life again like I was doing for the months that difficult child wasn't in our home.

    I'm going to leave difficult child's problems with difficult child. I have given him the tools, the information, the love and everything else he needs to succeed. I have no control over the situation, if I did, difficult child would be a easy child, in college and living like any other 19 year old.

    Oh, one more thing. difficult child keeps telling me that he only uses marijuana. Somehow this has always eased my fears a bit. I've only ever caught him with marijuana. There are a couple of things I want to say about this, some people think my fears are way over the top because we only know about marijuana. This kid has a problem! Am I right? Whether or not it's marijuana (which I don't think this is the only drug he abuses, it's just the one we know about) isn't the issue. The issue is, this drug causes him to live a life of lies and abuse. It's taken away his motivation to succeed in life. Don't get me wrong, if he works everyday in a coffee shop for the rest of his life, I have no problem with this. I just want him to be the best coffee shop worker he can be and be sure that he can support himself without lying, begging and/or stealing. I want him to be a contributor to society, not someone who sucks the life out of it.

    Thanks for listening again. This place keeps me strong.
  2. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    My heart goes out to you. It hurts so much to love these kids who are continually self sabotaging. I've had to do what you have done.
    Look up "the botany of desire" on youtube. There is a segment explaining why the cannabis of today is so much stronger than that of past decades.
    By the way, I was a hockey mom for years. I watched some of the Olympics hockey games and I was very sad, remembering how much my kid loved to play the game before he got into drugs. How can they choose to give all that up for a stupid illegal substance?
  3. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Thanks for the support ThreeShadows. I really do miss the hockey, but I have a 13 year old who still plays competitive so I get my travelling fix and a social life. My daughter also plays, and my 17 year old just finished.

    Yes, my difficult child played for years. Even played a little bit of junior, and he was good. I can't believe he doesn't miss it. Those were some 'great' times....

    How is your difficult child now?
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry this happened...again. I know what it feels like. One of the reasons my son doesnt live here. Well that and he is darned old enough to live on his own! I know my kid only smokes pot. Without a doubt. Well cigs too. He gets sick off of pain pills when the docs order them for his back. They have to give him phenergan for him to be able to take them for a few days.

    But anyway...we had to make him leave because I simply wouldnt allow anyone to use pot in my house and he wouldnt abide by those rules. What he does at his house isnt any of my business. My house my rules, his house his business. Works well for us. We get along well now. No fighting, no arguing over this and that. He is quite polite when I come over and wont allow anyone to have any illegal substances around when I am there. Big difference from when he was trying to "show me who was boss" Now he is trying to accommodate me in his house. Its amazing to me. Tossing him out made a world of difference. I should have done it sooner.
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    You are preaching to the choir here. I am a S@CKER for my difficult child. I know it. I try to be tough. I try to be consistent. But I see a glimmer of hope and off I go---I'm better than I used to be---I still haven't let him move back in with me, but that is because he is allowed to live at his grandmother's house. He hates it there---I would too, but he can't live here. Now if she were to put him out, I don't know what I'd do.
  6. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Well, I won't be waiting 2 weeks. Last night, about 3am, my difficult child came home, left all of our doors unlocked and went down to our basement and passed out. My husband and I got up around 3:30am, noticed the unlocked doors and I went down to check on my difficult child. I couldn't wake him, he was in a compromised position (i won't get into the details, I'm still tortured by it) and I thought he was dead. I panicked, called my husband, he was able to wake him just enough to get him to his bed. He was talking nonsense and then passed out again. I went through his coat and found 3 empty marijuana bags.

    I can't believe this, we told him he could stay for 2 weeks until he found someplace to go. I proceeded to take his house key and left him a note. Of course, I still have to live in the real world and go to work. I can't wallow in my self pity and stay home. The note basically said, you will not be getting your key back, if you are home immediately following work today we will give you some options. If not, you are not welcome here period.

    We have decided on one option. He immediately goes to a place in our city called "options for change", requests a drug assessment and requests residential treatment. There is a place about 2 hours from here thats covered by our medical plan. That's it. Until he gets treatment he must live elsewhere. He cannot stay here while he's waiting for treatment. I just can't do it anymore. My two younger children are visiting with their grandparents right now, thank goodness they weren't home to witness what we did.

    Any thoughts, I'm open to suggestions. Oh, and did I mention, I'm exhausted. Mentally spent and I just feel physically ill. I'm also worried that my note suggested he has options, i hope he doesn't think that means he can stay here. I should have been more specific. Thanks everyone...
  7. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    I'm so sorry, Missy. Our kids have no idea what the real world is about. So sad that you had to see that. You are right your other kids can't see this deterioration. Your entire family is in danger when he leaves the doors unlocked.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry Missy.
    No judgment here...heck, I'm not even sure how to spell the word.
    What we try to do (for now) is have our difficult child meet us half way. Also, when she clearly isn't trying or when she is disrespectful or ungrateful, we back off totally.
    Not sure if this is the best method or not.
    Our fear is that if we don't provide some small (LIMITED) support, then she may not have any chance at all. She is sick and this is confusing for us. We don't want her to become further disabled or worse. However, we also clearly recognize that she has abilities that she does not always tap into at times. This is a horrible thing and could never do her or anyone any good.
    We have let her suffer and sometimes it has gotten ugly.
    Time will tell. I have a friend with a sister with bipolar disorder. Eventually, her family had to tell her to go on her own. She almost died. However, at age 40, she decided to get her act together. She is largely on her own and asks for very lmited help from the family. Today, she is doing much better. It is sad that she almost lost her life and caused her family anguish for years. But, at least the extreme terror is now over.
    I do think about this a lot.
  9. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Thanks again everyone for your responses.

    difficult child didn't return home last night (but he did go to work, both hubby and i did a drive by). How's that for detachment! The fact that he didn't come home to discuss his options tell me that 1. he's not ready for help, he thinks he can handle it and 2. he's embarassed to see us right now, especially after the state we found him in the other night (morning) and 3. he's embarassed that he blew this last shot with us. He had it made, he just had to follow the rules. He followed them for a few blissful weeks, then he throws in the towel.

    In a way, I'm glad he didn't come home. If he's not ready, he's not ready, and maybe he can handle this, maybe he just needs to "really feel it" on his own. Maybe our enabling is his problem and he's never had to completely "step up" on his own. My fingers are crossed and my prayers are said daily that he will be okay. In the meantime, knowing that he isn't home and not knowing what he's doing, will allow me to sleep tonight. I need it!

    Talk soon,
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I'm not judging either - so just get that thought out of the way - lol.

    I think if you could think of your son as someone else for a moment. Someone who is NOT related to you. Someone who you didn't know, a stranger. Then ask yourself from that point of view - "If this person treated me like he does, how would I react?" Use some of those thoughts and reactions to help you get over how you deal with the situations at hand? You'd really be a lot better AND you'd detach a lot easier from the matters at hand.

    It shouldn't matter that the person who is doing these things to you in your home is your son. Son should be a privledged relationship. One of love, respect and kindness. When those behaviors cease? You should be able to find it within yourself to treat that person the same way you would anyone else on the street that treats you like dirt. Ask yourself....if I were sitting in my living room...and a stranger came in my house, stoned, and left all my doors open and then brought illegal drugs into my home - HOW would I react to this?

    Without going overboard sometimes I wonder why we really give lattitude to family - and does it help them at all especially if we keep saying "This is your LAST time." I mean they get used to the idea that we must have at least 10 last times in us before they really get some kind of consequence. So I get why they blow up and get angry with us when we DO level a consequence after the 8th LAST time. We've done it to ourselves.

    I'm currently going through this realization myself. I thought I had done well - but now? When I say - NO, I mean no, NOW...not 2 times from now.....NOW. And the results aren't so pretty - but on the backside? There is no 2, 3 and 4th time of bull for me to deal with and I'm enjoying that. Right down to - "Um no---you can't stay here for 2 days - find a hotel room when you come to town, I already told you that." and I meant what I said.

    It's hard,'s not my problem.

    And as far as the marijuana? The stuff they grow today? Not like it was years ago, so you may want to rethink the only marijuana thought. The stuff today according to someone I know that used to grow and distrubute? Is poison and they wouldn't touch it for anything. Not saying it's all like that but even the smell is nasty. Just be careful. I know you're doing your absolute best. You're in my thoughts and hugs.....Sending you the rhino suit (freshly drycleaned)
    Hugs & Love
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    (((hugs))) Missy. I positively loath drugs.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    If you can find a Families Anonymous Group in your area you might consider attending.
    The one in my area is super popular. Folks have been going for years and years. In some cases, their adult children are off of drugs and the parents still attend because they have gotten very close to others there. Others...have a different personal story, but I was impressed at how close this group is. My difficult child story was a little different....but so much so similar.

    As a side note, your post and mine on WC as well, has a little green arrow next to it. What does this mean? Perhaps something inside of it was changed.

    Please take good care of yourself. If this is something causing you excessive stress, please consider counseling. Many of us have done this and have gotten much benefit from it.

    Wishing you and your family well.
  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Nomad, if you see a green arrow it means you've replied to the thread.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I recommend Narc-Anon. There's some really good support there. He sounds to me as if there is more going on than marijuana, but like others have said there is barely any "just marijuana" anyway anymore. He is on drugs and it's affecting his life. Weed doesn't make you pass out cold like that.

    Suggestion? Let him try to survive on his own. Things I've learned and that you will learn if you go to an N/A meeting:

    1/You can not make him quit. You have no power over him. He is the only person with any power over himself.

    2/You can't make it go away by coddling him. Often this only makes it worse.

    3/It is best to learn how to detach because, other than that, your only other option is to worry constantly over something you have no control over.

    4/Druggies are big liars. Don't believe anything they say even if they stare you in the eyes and cry. Or swear on somebody's grave.

    I wish you luck. I know first hand how hard this is as a parent.
  15. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    hi everyone,

    thanks for responding to me.

    i have not had any contact with my difficult child since i asked him to leave early last week. my stress levels have dropped significantly. i don't plan to have contact, except to deliver some of his belongings left behind or to provide the information i have if he decides he's ready for help.

    i will look into a "families anon", i haven't heard of it. i do attend the odd alanon meeting, i'm not sure how i feel about them, but i do have a great support network of friends and family. our city doesn't have a narcanon anon, maybe this could be a project for me!

    i have no intentions of "trying" again, i am completely comfortable with detaching at this point. of course i worry and i love him, but i also know that he fails in our home. it's too comfortable. he pushes himself harder when he's forced to.

    thanks again everyone... i'll post more later when i have time.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I missed all of this when we were out of town, but I wanted to let you know that I think you are doing well. One thing that made it easier for us to not rescue was to take all of the extra beds out of our home. Of course, we don't really get to have company, but there's no bed for our kids. Period. It's terrible that you found him passed out like that, it must have broken your heart. When we think about it, I think we all know that this is something that could happen in your home just as easily as it can happen in someone else's or "out on the streets". Though, in reality, very few of our kids end up truly on the streets. They always find someone to put them on the sofa or the spare room. That's why they don't appreciate the value of a bed.

    This is more a comment in general rather than to you in particular, but I think it fits in well with what you are posting. I know some of the folks here see what is being said in PE as "kicking them out into the streets" or "abandoning" our difficult children. In all of my time here I don't ever remember anyone advising someone to kick their kid out to the street or abandon their kid. I've seen people advise others to make their home their own. I know that a well behaved responsible kid would be welcome in our home if there were some unavoidable circumstance that led them there. But when our kids know our rules and break them, they are walking out of our lives and into the streets. Or into the life of whoever is foolish enough to buy into their nonsense. We're the grown ups here. We get to choose to live happy and productive lives, just as our difficult children do. Some of them just haven't chosen to do that yet. Of course it's disappointing to us and it hurts. But that's their choice, not our abandonment.

    Enough of my soapbox, now. Feel good about what you are doing. He will do what he will do. What you feel or think about it won't change what he does.
  17. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    You are doing the right thing. Hang in there.

  18. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Thanks everyone. Somedays this board is the only thing that keeps me strong.
  19. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    hi everyone.
    just a quick update. word on the street is that my difficult child has been staying with his ex girlfriend since i asked him to leave. i don't like her, but i don't have to like her. the good thing is, she does not approve of drugs whatsoever, so when he's with her, he's on best behaviour. One thing i have learned, my difficult child is very resourceful. if only he could put that to good use!

    well, he has found a room with in a place with 2 university students. he moves in about 2 weeks. he transferred to a new store (yay, he still has his job) so he can get more hours and it will closer to his place. well, if anything, this is the first real step he has taken in life. the first bit of responsibility he has had. it's his to make or break. i still haven't reached out to talk to him, nor do i think i will for a bit. i love him, but i'm tired of being hurt and disappointed right now. and , i also want an apology for his most recent behaviour. i don't think it will come tomorrow, but maybe someday.

    good night all...
  20. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear that he has landed on his feet. Our kids seem to be able to do that.