Should I reach out or wait?


Active Member
My son has been in rehab for heroin addiction for a month now, and was just transferred to a different unit which I guess is more of a halfway house. He has a bit more freedom, has his own cell phone back, and is free to get a job. I heard this all from my daughter (his sister) and my daughter-in-law (his wife). He hasn't called me or his father once since he's been there.

My daughter said he called her to chat and also asked to borrow $250 for his first month's rent at the halfway house, which he said he'd pay back with his income tax refund. She couldn't help him.

So I'm here in the face of "is this enabling" land again. I'd kind-of mad and hurt that he hasn't tried to contact me at all, despite the fact that we had a friendly relationship, had talked extensively about his hopes for rehab, etc. I'd like to text him just to say "hi, heard you're doing well, why haven't you called?" (maybe leave off the last bit?) My daughter said she thinks he's embarrassed to call us since we found out about the money and guitar he had stolen. She also said she thinks I should make the first move to break the ice with him so he doesn't build up something in his mind.

Husband thinks I should stay quiet and wait for him to call us, or just be glad he isn't calling us to ask for money or to live with us again. I'm kind-of afraid to call or text thinking he might see that as a way to ease his way back into our middle bedroom. But I want him to know we're supporting him and wishing him well, despite everything. Can somebody help me straighten out my thinking on this?


Well-Known Member
If you are thinking about helping with the rent, pay it directly to the halfway house...

Is there a birthday or event that would seem like a normal event to reach out to him? Like a little Valentines card or small care package? Maybe send it with a short note wishing him well, but not asking for info?

Sorry, I don't have more to offer... Ksm


Well-Known Member
If you pay call first to make sure it's true and pay directly to the person, not him. Ask them if there are other ways he can earn his rent. Or don't pay. I wouldn't celebrate or pat him on the back for a long time. This isn't his first rodeo. One month seems like a very short rehab stint for a very longstanding addiction. Why isn't it longer or is sober living a continuation?

If you contact him, expect a plea for money. You can always send a nice card wishing him well. By now, I'm sure he knows you love him. I agree with husband. He will want to go back to your house which in my opinion is unfair for your kids he stole from, and unhealthy for everyone.

Good luck!


Well-Known Member
I would wait.

He may well be embarrassed about his thefts (that’s a good thing!) but he should also realize he should be the one to reach out and make amends.

If you reach out right now, it will probably be a green light to him to start asking you for money. Which will mean that he won’t be looking at his other options to get the money, like getting a job.

It could set him back in his recovery. He needs to start relying on himself, and doing for himself. Relying on his parents only keeps him in a child state of mind.

I would wait and see how this plays out.

I always tell my hubby to do this. Wait and see what they figure out on their own. When he doesn’t step in to save his boys, they usually figure out a way to get it done.



Active Member
Of course, you should do whatever you feel comfortable with. If it were me, I would contact him. He's your son. We live in constant chaos and drama so even regular activities cause us to question and doubt ourselves. Even if it triggers a request for money, you can always say "no".

When I haven't seen my son in a long time (which sadly happens often) I send a message to say "hope to see you soon" But, that's my comfort.

Good luck to you and your family.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I agree with your husband. Wait and be happy that he isn't asking you for money or to live with you.

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
I agree with your husband. Wait and be happy that he isn't asking you for money or to live with you
I agree. Be patient, wait, and wait more. There is no need to contact him so quickly. After several weeks and in a new setting, if all is going well, and you really must make contact, I would limit the text to something such as what you said .. "Heard you are doing well. Take care." Let it go a that. It's good if he is getting a sense of your "detachment", which is as it should be. What do you need to contact him for? He knows very well by this time all that you have done and felt for him, and he likely knows all your words and emotions, etc. Let him see the new side of you that can be patient with boundaries and with understanding and a quiet confidence in him.

The detachment process works both ways. We need to detach, and the difficult children also need to know and understand the benefits of our detachment and theirs - that they need to detach also. He is not contacting you because he does not want to contact you, for whatever reason. If he wanted to, he would. To me this is progress. He is a 30 years old married man, right?
I'd kind-of mad and hurt that he hasn't tried to contact me at all
Don't take this the wrong way, but this sounds a bit like your own possible "co-dependency (?)" and identification with him as a troubled difficult son .. sounds a bit like you are taking offense that he is not coming to you, and not needing to contact you folks. Try to look at it with a thankfulness that he is possibly finding other resources for working things out, and is moving away from the need for you. That sounds promising.

Without you enabling with help, if he really wants to keep with the program, let him try to find other ways. Sounds OK for now. Nothing you need to do at the moment. What a relief that is!! Take care. Wait with patience. Be patient with yourself also. You are going to be alright!
Last edited:


Active Member
Thanks to all for your advice. I had decided not to contact him, and wait to see when he was ready to say something.

sounds a bit like you are taking offense that he is not coming to you, and not needing to contact you folks. Try to look at it with a thankfulness that he is possibly finding other resources for working things out, and is moving away from the need for you. That sounds promising.
You are totally right, and I had already been thinking this. I was hurt that he was confiding in me before, and now seemed to have cut off communication. Yes, my co-dependency was definitely showing itself.

But as it turns out, I needed to step back, and things seem to be looking better. I called his wife on Saturday to see if she wanted me to keep the kids on Sunday and make dinner for her and the kids on Sunday. She surprised me by saying that my son was at her apartment taking care of the kids while she was at work, and was it OK if he came over for dinner also. Apparently he has weekend passes now but can't leave the facility during weekdays. He also has a curfew on weekends.

So, they all ended up coming over for dinner last night along with my daughter. Son seemed a little distanced and awkward at first, but he was chatting and laughing with his sister over cat videos before long. He was wearing some tags on his jacket showing how long he'd been sober, and it's up to 5 weeks. He said he shares a room with four other men, as they don't want them to be isolated. He looked healthier than I've seen him in a long time. He also has become a vegetarian.

Before he left, he took his remaining things out of the bedroom where he'd been staying, and also some of his things he'd been storing in our basement. The plan is for him to complete the program there, which I think is a couple more months, and they'll help him find a job. Then he'll get his own apartment. Apparently his wife has moved on and has been dating someone! She mentioned going out on a date while son was in the room last night, so I guess it's not a secret or anything. Just seems sad to me, as I was hoping they'd stay together. But that's not my business. They seem to be united in trying to take care of the kids, so that's important and appropriate.

Before I went to bed, I texted my son that I was glad to see him, congratulations on his progress so far, love you, and good night. He texted back a long message saying that he appreciated that, he loves me too, and he's sorry for the things he's done that hurt and upset me and the whole family. He said he's trying to get his life back together and eventually make things up to everyone, but he knows it's gong to be a long process. He also said, "Thank you for your patience and for putting up with the things I've put you through." That made me cry last night, and it's just realizing that all the worries have been weighing me down for so long, and now that he's taken on the responsibility for himself again, it's such a relief. I realize it's a long road for him, but I'm more hopeful now than I was before.


Well-Known Member
Wow, your son has come a long way in the short amount of time that he has been in the program!

He certainly has the right attitude.

I’m glad he is taking responsibility for his life.

Maybe he has lost enough of the good things in his life that he is finally realizing that he wants to change, that he can’t keep going down this road?


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

I think you did the right thing by stepping back. He has to figure out HIS life on his own time.

I'm learning this too. It's very hard. I've done really great at detaching though. I'm amazed at myself. It's SO EASY to get pulled back in though.

We cannot keep our adult children sober. Nothing we say or do can keep them sober. I keep on reminding myself of that. I know that our son knows without a doubt that he is loved and we will support him as long as he is staying sober and moving forward. I'm sure your son knows how much you love him.

In my humble opinion the most important relationship in your son's life right now is the relationship with his children.

Please try to enjoy your life and find your joy.