Short Visit from difficult child Yesterday


Well-Known Member
Yesterday I was on my way to work and pulled to the head of our driveway and stopped because there was a car coming from the dead end of our dead end street...wait, that looks like difficult child's car! difficult child actually tried to drive right past me, then stopped. Very sheepish expression. Big dent on driver's side of car, door bungee'd shut.

"What's going on?"


"Why are you here?"

" the area."

"Why didn't you pull into the driveway?"

"I was embarrassed."

"Have you been drinking?"


"What happened to your car?"

"I...I hit a dumpster."



"That's all you hit?"


"You sure?"


"You're lucky. I see you are using poppers." (Seat and floor covered in popper cartridges)


"Are you still working?"

"Well...I might have lost my job."

"You might have lost it or you've definitely lost it?"

"...I...lost it..."

"Well...pull into the driveway."

He pulled into the driveway and got out of the car, front of pants covered in puke, thin as a rail, very drunk. I went in to tell husband he was here and that I was late for work and what should I do?

husband said not to worry about it, he would take care of it. As I left:

"I love you, Mom."

"I love you too, difficult child."

When I got home from work he was gone. husband said difficult child was so drunk he couldn't even focus, so husband told him to sleep it off and that he could clean up but he couldn't stay.

So he slept for about 5 hours, got up and made himself some lunch, showered, did a load of laundry. husband told him there was no point in lecturing him about anything, told him anything we could do or say obviously hasn't done any good. Told him to go see his sponsor and that he looked like he needed to go to detox. difficult child agreed to do that.

husband made sure difficult child threw out all of his poppers and empties and had difficult child follow him to the gas station and put just enough gas in the car to get to his sponsor's. Told difficult child to at least let us know that he made it.

No word last night or today. Not at detox. Sponsor hasn't seen him.

Now husband is second guessing. I told him it wouldn't have made any difference and we know that, because we've done it that way too and he either didn't go to detox or he didn't stay.

So I guess he's gone again.


Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hugs to you!! That is so heartbreaking to endure.

What you and your husband did for him was very kind and loving and that is all you really could do for him.

I hope he finds his way to detox and his sponsor.

Hang in there!!


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Staff member
Oh boy I am so sorry Albatross.

You and husband did all the appropriate things. You can do no more.

Our hearts can break in so many ways.

I'm sending you a warm, big hug and saying a prayer for your difficult child and for you and husband.

Hang in there.........

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
There are no words.

There is no way to describe what this feels like. You loved him. That matters.

How are you? I want to hear how you are, how husband is.

Also, I would like to know what is a popper.



one day at a time
Oh Alb. My heart broke, reading your post and then I felt it expand, seeing your love and his pain and your pain and your beautiful letting go.

I have no more words right now but just know I am with you. Prayers for him and for you and for husband and for a better future one day ahead.


Well-Known Member
Also, I would like to know what is a popper. Its also called Rush. I did one hit of it during my around 48 hour experimentation phase. My heart kicked into overdrive and it scared the living crap out of me! Way to much heart disease in my family history for that kind of crap.

So sorry for whats going on with your son. With all the stupid things our son has done it has been nothing like this.


Well-Known Member
You did everything you could have. So did you husband. It is his life and he needs to be in charge of the good parts and the bad.

Sending hugs!


Well-Known Member
Wow, scarey! It seems he is really going downhill fast. Have you thought of reporting his plate to the police so maybe he will be pulled over and taken off the street? I know many parents worry about the stigma of jail, but it would be better for him to have the stigma of a DUI than be in prison for the rest of his life because he accidentally killed someone while driving under the influence.
Your husband did what he thought is best and whatever we think is the best thing to do in the moment is the best that can be done.


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Thank you so much, all, for the wise words and concern.

I think the thing that really upsets me the most is that my gut reaction when I saw him was, "Oh *%*+!"

I really, really, really hate that it has come to that point, to me dreading to see my own child. That's so cold.

But putting on a happy face makes me feel like I'm buying into his BS and that doesn't feel right either.

We heard from him. He says he is going to detox tonight. We shall see. I am trying to remember that his addict is in control right now, and the addict is not him.


Well-Known Member

I am so sorry and I get the part about not wanting to see your own child. This was never, ever, ever what we thought would happen, not in our wildest imaginings. Heck, it was (no freaking way) not even on the radar.

Until it was....and is.

Hope it is better news very soon. We can always hope. We should always hope and we will. Good things come out of bad all the time.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Jabber, thank you for the information on poppers. It was interesting and informative.

I think the thing that really
upsets me the most is that my gut reaction when I saw him was, "Oh *%*+!"

This helps me:

"Ours is a strong, tight-knit family coming through some very hard times."

I've been thinking about this phrase, alot. I think the magic in it is that while it describes the situation (encompassing any variety of however bad it could get), it does it in a way that strengthens and helps us believe that we are, indeed, going to come through it.

We can face anything, if we believe there is a way.

I think one of the the reasons we get that stomach-dropping feeling is because the shock of what is happening contrasted with what our beliefs about who our families are throws us into a kind of fugue state.

Add shame.

We cannot put the pieces together. (A mosaic, Albatross. Irregularly sized, broken pieces. Sharp edges. )

We cannot change what is happening and it just keeps getting unbelievably worse. We begin berating and beating ourselves up in secret because we are afraid for our children and don't know how to make them stop.

And we are their mothers and we are supposed to know. All of their lives, as we brought our children through earaches and diaper rash and healthy eating and walking and toilet training and sports and piano lessons and vaccinations, we knew. And if we didn't know, we found out.

There are no answers for what is happening, now.

So, we have to walk a fine line between keeping our eyes and hearts open and beating ourselves up.

Add all the people, looking so long for some way to think better of themselves, who suddenly know more than you about your own child.

Add the crappiness of knowing you will listen, because you are that desperate.

Add the professionals who turn away once the child messes up big time or the funding dries up.

I got stuck in "bargaining", and it changed the course of my life. If I sacrificed enough, then surely my children could be saved.

And I think those feelings, that impending doom, I-don't-know-what-to-do feeling, is what is really the feeling we are fighting when we spot our kids and they are in trouble and heading for more.

We don't know what to do and that scares the pants off us.

It isn't that we love them less, though self-sabotage will tell us this is so. It is that we have been beating ourselves up in secret, and we are scared to death. We feel inadequate because we haven't fixed it yet and we are fresh out of miracle cures.

There comes a time when we just stop talking, because there is nothing to say.

We are empty.

It is the situation that is impossible. Not you, not your parenting, not even your difficult child.

"Just the facts, Ma'am.", like Jack Webb used to say on that old detective series, Dragnet.

That was the hardest thing, for me. How hard I was on myself.

You are a kind, empathic mother, Albatross. You are bright and funny and compassionate. This thing that is happening with your child is not your fault, and is not of your choosing.

You will need to learn to cherish yourself through it because otherwise, you will break.

Like me.

You need an inner Jack Webb, that hard eyed, hard-bitten detective who has seen it all. "Just the facts, Ma'am."




Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I really, really, really hate that it has come to that point, to me dreading to see my own child. That's so cold.
Albatross, I do not think it's cold as much as it's self preservation. It's that "now what" when you are already so drained from the umpteenth "now whats" that you have already endured.

I don't know if I will ever get over that feeling of dread when it comes to my difficult child. I suppose the only way that would happen is if he were to start living a responsible life and even then I would be hesitant to trust it as I have been fooled by him too many times.

It also goes beyond just us as the parents who have that feeling of dread. One of the last conversations I had with my mom before she died; she and my dad were on a long trip and she called to wish me a happy birthday only it wasn't very happy as difficult child had run away from the group home he was court ordered to be in. When I told my mom that, her response was "you don't think he'll try to break into our house do you". Sadly my mom passed away a month later.

Don't beat yourself up for feeling that way.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I do not think it's cold as much as it's self preservation. It's that "now what" when you are already so drained from the umpteenth "now whats" that you have already endured.

I think what Tanya said is true Albatross. After years of this, we're fried, we're depleted, we've just got no more reserves left......and while we are not around them, we are attempting to regain our normalcy, trying to find our middle ground and feel okay, which takes work on our part. Then, they show up with the latest drama, the latest chaos, the latest mess which we now know we can't do anything that awful helplessness shows up, along with the horror of what is happening and our deep sorrow at reality........I would say feeling dread is a natural response considering the conditions most of us here live with.

In the big picture Albatross, having any kind of judgement about your response to your son just adds more pain to it. It is enough that you have to deal with it, how you are responding is how most of us respond. These are unnatural conditions. You are in a war zone. You are a soldier fighting a battle where the ammunition is in the hands of the enemy and you are defenseless except for your response to it. You responded in an excellent way, you were loving and kind and supportive AND you kept your boundaries intact. You and husband did a great job. That's all you can do. Knowing that's all you can do is in itself another form of torture we have to learn to accept.

Hang in there Albatross, my heart so goes out to you..........I remember those feelings so vividly. You've done what you your very best to let the rest go. My prayers continue for you, your husband and your son. I hope he went to detox. Keep us posted.