Running on Empty

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Nature, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Hello Everyone,
    After almost 2 years I'm back. The last time I believe I wrote was my drug addicted son tried to kill me while in a psychotic state and I had to call the police to remove him. The swat team arrived and battered down my door removing him in the process. I incorrectly thought that would get him the help he needed (a mental health facility) but instead he was placed in jail. Granted, while it left me with PTSD it almost gave me a sense of relief and freedom that I'd been unable to have while he was under my roof. I had become so terrified of him and unable to get him to leave - living with him made my life hell.
    Eventually upon his release he found himself sharing an SRO (single room occupancy) in the worst area of our city. No one goes to that area unless they are part of that community and it's incredibly sad to see the hundreds of lost souls who wander the streets there. While I was "almost there" meaning I started really getting the gist of tough love and how my enabling had not helped him - I have slid back to being an enabler again. Why or Why did I do this? In a moment of weakness I thought bringing him groceries and checking up on him was still letting him know I cared for him but kept my distance. Eventually, I was going to that area every two weeks. The room was big enough for a single bed in a seedy rooming house which he and another younger person shared. It was infested with bugs in which case both their bodies were covered and they had developed infections. Both of them were really sick. They wanted to move but looking at their faces covered with welts and bug bites I thought no landlord would rent to these two by the way they looked. When they complained they were evicted and the only option for them was to get a tent and sleep outdoors. I told myself it was fine if it was warm weather but I couldn't have my son potentially dying in the freezing weather. I booked them in a hotel for two weeks so they could heal and honestly thought I was helping them until they found a new place. They slept the first week and the promise of getting ID (as neither of them have any) was a stop to them finding another place. It's now week 3 and the hotel (which is the only place in the city that would take them without ID charges 700 plus tax week). I've made a mistake as instead of getting better I have been fooled and they only get high and sleep all day. I will have a 3000 dollar bill on my charge card but I had told myself it was better than him wanting or showing up at my place. Yes, I realize I've made a mistake. I flip back and forth saying "that's it, never again" to "okay just this last time...." Yesterday , his friend phoned crying and begging me to come to the hotel as T was "flipping out" I was terrified but went as I feared for his friends safety. He begged me for money as he slept in and missed his methadone treatment and once again I feel I am being kept hostage by his addiction. Thank you for listening.
  2. Hi Nature,

    I really feel for you. I can understand how easy it is to slip back into enabling again as I have done it myself so many times and continue to do so up to a point.

    You want your son to be so different. You want him to be safe and not suffering. It hurts you more than it hurts him to think of him homeless or in horrible accommodation.

    It’s terrible that you’ve been put into a frightening situation yesterday and then for him to take advantage of you by asking for money.

    I think that all you can do is look after yourself. He is probably taking up all of your thoughts and causing you huge anxiety but he could help himself if he really wanted to.
    They aren’t appreciative of anything you’re doing for them and it’s costing you a fortune.

    If you’re worried about him turning up at yours, you could take out a restraining order or contact the police and say you don’t want him there. I know it is so hard, as I have had to do it myself and it’s the hardest thing I have ever done, but you really need to prioritise your own safety and mental well-being as well as your finances.

    When my son was homeless, we put him up in a hotel and he repaid our kindness by running up a huge bar bill (we weren’t aware he would be able to do this on the card we booked on).

    Nothing you are doing now will help in the long term and where do you stop? He has to find the motivation to help himself. You can’t change him.

    I hope things get better for you. Please put yourself first and look after yourself. None of this is your fault and you deserve better for yourself.
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  3. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Nature!

    If I remember correctly, your mom and sister had some health concerns last time you were here. I hope they are doing better.

    Most of us fall back into enabling a few times. We hope ‘this time’ is different. We have fallen into the trap several times.

    They did sound really pitiful.

    Do they have any plans? I am sure you can’t keep paying for a hotel room for them indefinitely. Do they realize that they need to figure out some other way to get by?

    How long are you able to do this?

    How are you holding up? You sound very stressed.

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  4. RN0441

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

    So sorry you have found yourself in this situation.

    How old is your son?
  5. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    My son is now 31. He's been doing this since he was 16 but had successfully recovered for 3 years, relapsed at 19, recovered and then relapsed again at 21 and has not been clean since. The situation escalated when he contracted meningitus on his 21st birthday which caused further brain damage. He's way too old for me to be expecting his Mama to help him out of every situation or help for his bad choices. Logically I know this, emotionally I've fallen back into the state I was in before. Previously, I had no spoken to him in a year.

    Thank you all who responded as I'm trying to get back to the person I became where I set boundaries and was able to say No without feeling guilty. I appreciate each of you for taking the time to write advice and notes of encouragement.
  6. RN0441

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

    My advice is to find a therapist that specializes in addiction.

    That is what I have done and it helps tremendously. It helped me not to feel guilty when he was using.

    You MUST have firm boundaries or this will be your life and who wants a life like this??

    He needs the boundaries as well or he will never change.
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  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello Nature, it is good to “see” you again, but I am so sorry for your need to be here. First of all, please do not chastise yourself for being in your situation. We are ordinary folks in not so ordinary circumstances. Don’t be hard on yourself.
    Is it economics, or choice. That’s the big question. Ugh. My Rain has lived in parks for as long as I know, three years now. Her drug of choice is meth.I have not seen her for awhile, last time she came to the house and unceremoniously dumped two tires here, a cooler full of junk. Called and told her sister she was going to come get it, but never did. I took it to the dump yesterday, the man there wanted the tires for aluminum scrap. That is how they get by, recycling cans and bottles, dumpster diving and Lord only knows what else. I have had to work real hard to guard my heart. It is strange when I do see her. I am glad she is alive, but there is this invisible wall between us.
    What is a mother to do? I don’t think it is weakness Nature, to be kind and check up, bring groceries. My son in law was reaching out to Rain and did the same.
    That must have been hard and scary.
    Oh my, that’s a heart breaking thing to see. I am sorry Nature.
    I understand your fear and concern. Living in Hawaii, I wonder how my two are faring when the weather turns. It is not as drastic as your winters, I imagine I would probably feel the same in your shoes.
    Ugh. I could write the book on this one. It is so frustrating Nature, to offer help and not see any movement on their part.
    Well then. Sometimes we just fall into it, don’t we? I am certain you will find your way through this.Take it one day at a time and figure out a plan.
    The pattern and consequences. Asking for money. There is always some “valid” reason to draw us in.
    This is all so hard, Nature. We never in a million years expected our kids to be where they are at. Seeing them in the state they are in, is so very difficult on our hearts. I have not seen Tornado in quite some time. I have two of my three grands over for spring break. They are living with their paternal grandparents. Stability.
    They have been abandoned by both parents for meth.
    I used to feel so angry and sad. I have found that praying and trying to be steady state has helped to keep me more level headed. I didn’t think I would ever get there, and must work at it constantly, because I know at anytime things could change and I would be drawn right back to the swirly whirly of it all. I will be 59 this summer and know I cannot handle the stress of going down that rabbit hole. It is too much, mentally, physically and spiritually. I don’t want to take the consequences of their choices as my own. That’s what it eventually amounts to. I pray for them and hope one day they will find their light. I just know I am not the one to “guide” them there. I can’t fix them. They don’t want to be fixed. They just want a comfie place to be while they continue as is. I am just an opportunity for them. Someone to take advantage of.
    I won’t be their rug.

    You will get there, Nature. You have already taken the first step by recognizing that this is not a good situation for you, or for your son. Take a deep breath and be kind to yourself. Then get to work building up your strength and switching your focus. You got this Nature and we are circling the wagons for you.
    Sending big, gentle, understanding hugs your way.
  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I am sorry you find yourself in this situation. Given the circumstances that you found your son in i would probably have given in as well. I would have regretted it as well. Are there any shelters or anything that you could move them to? If you can't bear to put them back into the same situation can you find a cheaper rental month to month that you could give them with the condition that they have a short period of time to start paying themselves or they will lose that as well? It is so hard to reach that balance between enabling and helping .
  9. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I am letting you know you are not alone. You do what your heart can bear and that is not right or wrong. Be kind to yourself.