Ran into old acquaintance last night

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by klmno, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I had to get out of the house a while so after I ran some errands, I stopped by a place I used to go and had a couple of beers. I ran into a man I used to know but I never got very close to him because I had trouble understanding or agreeing with how he seemed to be raising his son. His son has been in and out of trouble since he was about 12- clearly a difficult child. This man is divorced from the mother, by the way, and he had custody most of the time because the mother simply could not control this boy. The man could conotrol him some but allowed him to drink, smoke pot, and have the entire finished basement to do what he wanted with friends- male or female. This guy kept insisting on allowing his son to do this stuff with certain boundaries defined- not hard ddrugs, not too much alcohol, sex with condom, etc, and thought this was going to work. I know many who subscribe to that theory, my bro being one, but I neever thought it was a good idea, especially with a difficult child. This man went to extreme lengths to get his son out of trouble every time he'd get into trouble. Now he is incarcerated in an adult jail for cops coming over and getting caught after hiding in the attic (where the father was covering for him) and disposing of evidence (heroin). Well, even after that he got out on bond and the father drove him to his mother's to hide the son. She found heroin and was getting worried and fed up both so she turned him in and that's how he got into adult jail (he recently turned 21). This guy is all bent out of shape because he doesn't know what to do and says he nor the son want anything to do with the mom because she turned him in. I upset him when I said that I didn't blame her- we're talking heroin and this could kill him and he's old enough to take repsonsibility for his own life now.

    The courts ordered him into a drug treatment program that is given while the person is incarcerated. The son refused to stay in itt. Now all this and he gets released soon, after only doing 3 mos in. (I can't believe my son got over 1 year and has done less for less years, but I digress.) Anyway, I understand the father being upset because he says he can't find a locked, private rehab to send his son to at his age for hard drugs- he can only find one for alcohol. But you know, I don't think this guy gets the whole addeiction, enabling, waiting-too-long concept.

    I really didn't mean to upset him but he was shaking and ran out pretty quick last night. He did tell me to call him today but I'm not sure I should. I feel bad about it but I don't see any way I can tell him what he wants to hear at this point.

    He just kept repeating "m,y son is in jail, he's on heroin, he's hit his girlfriend, he has no job skills and only a GED and he's about to be released." While I understand by foreseeing that possibility in my son and hearing simmiolar stories on this board, it's hard for me to symp[athise in this situation when with this man's child-rearing approach the past ten years, I could only look at him and think "what did you expect". He refused my suggestions of therapy, medications, wilderness program/Residential Treatment Center (RTC), etc years ago and fought against any of those opportunities when the courts tried to provide them to the boy as a juvenile. Now he is upset because he's an adult and the father can't force it and the son is refusing it.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    It sounds like the man doesn't have a wife because she wouldn't agree with him. Perhaps that's what he is looking for in a relationship? I'll be your friend if you agree with me. I'm glad you stood your ground, yet listened. That's what a good friend does despite the cost. It's a shame that he couldn't see that. Maybe he did, just didn't want to admit it? Hard to tell. The bad thing is he wants help for his son, but again -on HIS terms. I didn't hear him say that his son wants the help.

    I know for all the years that my x was [and still is] a hard core addict I used to think if we could move [moved 44 times in 11 years] or get away from the friends, the element, the influences? We could have a new start. You can't move from "it" - because the it is "you" when you're an addict. If you want "it" "you" know where to go, around what areas, around what kinds of places, and people and you will find it without much trying. Sadly -each time he begged or swore it would be different? I believed him for the first few moves, then after a while I wanted to believe him but just went along with it, and eventually I figured out that he was moving us around because he owed people money, or had been threatened, had his family threatened to be killed or in some twisted drug-addled moment of delusion I wanted to believe that HE believed the next move would surely help.

    As far as rehabs go? Well, I know there are some good ones, but I could tell you stories that would curl the hair on your toes. Most of the places do not care if you check yourself out and then test positive. They get paid by the state either way. Quite a few of the places are smack IN the middle of drug central. Walk out, get a fix, walk back in - go to a meeting, go to lunch, walk out - get another fix....walk back in - go to a meeting, go to supper, walk out - get another fix....go to dinner...and so on. I know because while we were thinking "Wow you never looked better." My x was on his third rehab, I was begging for money, working 3 jobs, and I took lunch one day just in time to watch him leave, walk across the street, take a hit, smoke it, and walk back. When I went for visitation that night? Eyes as big as saucers, smiling, happy, just like nothing ever happened.

    If you do talk to your friend - Tell him from me the best education I got about how to help myself and my x - came from narcanon meetings. Listening to the people in there talk about how THEY really felt about people like me who wanted to help people like THEM when they were high? Made me mad as hell. Made me so mad, it took all the sympathy out of my veins, and replaced it with tough love. Tough love was eventually replaced with common sense. Common sense was eventually replaced with forgiveness. Forgiveness was eventually replaced with empathy. Then nothing. Nothing - leaves me with peace in my heart and soul. That leaves me with time to pray for that person which is what I feel is all I can do that really helps - because I did try everything else on this earth and heaven to help - and at 55 years old? He's still smoking, banging, speedballing, cooking, drinking, abusing, stealing.....he has no wife, child, home, nearly no friends, family. No place to live, no job, no car. No clothes that are his own....heck he had to borrow shoes. And STILL would rather have the drug than stop. You can't fix that. You can't stop that. You can not do anything about that except save yourself and heal your wounds - and if your friend starts now? It will just give him longer to heal wounds that are going to hurt forever because it's his son. It sounds like that's what his Mom is doing. I'm sure she's in pain too.

    Nothing good ever comes from a family torn apart like this. I'm really sorry for your friend & his family.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Apparently the son doesn't want help at all. The man would probably handle any suggestion like narcanon about like Abb's H handled her therapy session. I'm sure the mom is devestated- I actually think there might be a little more hope for her than the father. But yes, I do feel for both of them and the son, too. At this point, the son needs to be left on his own to hit bottom, in my humble opinion, but I'm sure the father will continue to support him, hide him, and try to keep him out of trouble while he "gets his son to see that he should only do some of these drugs".
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think you're wise in hesitating to reconnect. All of us with difficult children carry a strong emotional burden. Right now in your life you need to be surrounded by optimistic thoughts as you try to find a new path. Besides, it does not
    sound like he is likely to change course anytime soon. How sad it is that so many people live in crisis. It's draining. DDD
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Nope- I was shocked to see him and am not looking to get involved. I never was dating him or anything like that even when I knew him years ago. I do feel kind of guilty though because I feel responsible for him getting so shaken up last night. It just hit me like this- all of us here continuously look for new ways to help our kids and constantly make sacrafices to do what we think might help. He seemed to refuse any of that while his son was a juvenile. I hurt for him but can't sympathize with him the same way I would if it was a warrior parent. Actually, I think I feel so bad now because he has to face the realization that it's too late to even do what we all do here. It wouldn't be in a way except I know it won't happen because the father is just too head-strong against therapy or rehabilitation tecniques. He defended his son's non-compliance with the jail rehab for drugs because his son had to get up early, clean, and sit in classes or therapy for many hours a day. I have no idea what he thinks rehab is supposed to consist of but apparently he thinks it's supposed to be more fun than ddrugs in order to motivate the kid.
  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like he needed to be shaken up, so don't feel guilty about that for one minute Honestly, I think you did him a favor by being so blunt with him.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's true- he has heart problems though and has had open heart surgery before and a dr's appointment today to check on it. I do feel for him but what can you do if a person flat-out refuses to consider any other approach to their offspring?

    I told him I know it's hard- but I called cops on mine for pulling a knife on me, hoping he would eventually get a clue that he can't do that to me or anyone else and to prevent it from happening.

    Shortly after I joined this board someone posted something that has always stuck with me. It was that we warrior parents need to think and plan ahead for potential crisis our difficult child's might end up putting us in. For instance, if I found a hit list that looked like my son was getting ready to go to school and kill people, it would be better to turn him in immediately and prevent it than to turn a blind eye or cover for him, hoping/thinking it wouldn't actually happen and end up with him and others dead or oothers dead and his life ruined and wasted behind bars forever. I have always kept that in the back of my mind for all kinds of situations, not just a potential threat of him hurting others at school. If my son turns out the way I hope, he will thank those of us that prevented him from doing worse someday.

    I don't think this acquaintance thinks this way. I think he's always wanting to cover up and try to change his son himself. Maybe he thinks if his son comes to see him as his friend, he won't do those things anymore. Personally, I'm concerned that his son may end up dead from an OD.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know parents like him. Many of them in fact. They are too busy being their kids friends and not being their kids parents. Without fail, they will rescue and excuse all bad behavior and lay blame everywhere but where it should lay which is at the feet of their precious child.

    I have heard time and time again how it is the schools fault, the other kids fault, the cops fault, the courts fault, blah blah blah but it is never juniors fault that he/she got into trouble. Junior never had to take responsibility for doing the wrong thing. Mommy or Daddy would lie, beg or steal to keep Junior from facing consequences. At some point, it became so bad that Mommy or Daddy couldnt stop those consequences anymore. Junior did something really bad. Either he got so drunk he dove into the water where it was too shallow and now he is paralyzed from the neck down, he committed heinous crimes and got locked up for life, he got drunk and got killed in the middle of the road, he got shot in his own yard by a drug dealer or some other misfortune.

    It hoovers. I think if parents would be parents instead of friends, maybe it wouldnt be such a shock when things go bad.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Janet, you just described the way my family thinks- a person is either one who can do no wrong or a person that is responsible for everyone else's problems. I am one who is rrepsonsible for everyone else's problems, according to them. I have tried hard to raise difficult child not to have such black-and-white thinking and not blame himself for things he had no control over but that he absolutely has to take the consequences of his own choices.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I know my bro only wants to be difficult child's best friend and he would assist difficult child in drinking, doing drugs, having sex, etc.
  11. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Dad'll continue to enable until it's too uncomfortable for him; the adult child will continue to do exactly as he pleases except when he's in jail or life demands he otherwise attempt to change his ways.

    Sorry, but mercy, I'd let it go..... Certainly wouldn't want any influence on my own difficult child from this young adult who would likely appear pretty cool to some of our difficult children,