Still detached with love, and it's great

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    My son told me today he has been relapsing pretty hard over the last 2 to 4 weeks and hasn't been working the NA or AA program at all. The good news for him is that he went to a meeting today after I don't know how long and he's checking into detox this evening. The good news for me is that I listened to what he had to say without judgment or emotion. I'm not apathetic but I'm neutral. Disappointed and worried, yes, upset and distraught, not at all. His addiction/recovery journey is his, not mine.

    While I was typing this he asked me to wire him $15 to get a week's supply of his medications. I said no. $15 isn't much money and this is the first time he's asked me for any money in months. But I feel that if I had agreed he would see that as a signal to ask me for more and more and I'm not opening that door. He's in financial straits due completely to his own decisions, so he will have to figure out how to work his problems out on his own.

    I feel so liberated! This detachment thing is wonderful!
     
  2. RN0441

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

    Good for you!

    It's so hard for us to say no but in the end it is what THEY need.

    My son and I had a long talk about that just last week. He was in a faith based 13 month program. After 7 months he felt ready to come home.

    Obviously I said HELL NO and stuck to my original plan. I felt bad but only for a minute. He did finish the program because he knew that was the only way we would accept him back into our family. We were tired of being hurt.

    I'll never know if he would have done as well if I had given in and let him return home after 7 months. But I know in my heart that I did the right thing. That is all we can do.

    It reminds me of when they are little. Some children are out of control with their behaviors. Some parents ignore it...just because it's usually just easier in that moment. It's harder to stay on it. Discipline and follow through. This is kind of the same thing to me.

    :staystrong:
     
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  3. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Good for you, indeed. I am happy to hear your son knew where to get help, and what to do. I am glad he decided to return to recovery. AA/NA is the best place for him after detox and he seems to know that.

    I am sure that your detachment with love is aiding his recovery. You are leaving the problem where it belongs: with him. And he is solving it. This approach also helps you because like you said you are not upset or distraught.

    I agree that tough love and not giving him money right now are exactly the right thing to do. Like you said he got himself into this position, and he will learn best from the consequences of his actions.

    My hat is off to you!
     
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  4. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Update: It may sound like an oxymoron to say I'm proud of my son when he's relapsing and asking people for money. But in a strange way, I am. Proud despite the relapse because he's taking steps to get back to recovery. Proud despite the fact he's asking for money because he managed to find a way to get the money with no help from me. Proud and relieved that he didn't react or respond negatively or angrily at my "no". He actually didn't get my FB message telling him I couldn't help him, and he texted me to say never mind, that a friend of his (his boss, actually) is loaning him the money. In my book these are tiny victories, because this time a year ago he wasn't interested in getting clean and when I had to say no to anything I got an angry tirade about what a terrible mother and human being I am.

    Every little improvement, whether permanent or temporary, is a step in the right direction and gives me hope for his future. And best of all...back to the detachment...no matter what happens I won't be pacing the floor, tossing and turning when I should be sleeping, throwing money away on a lost cause, or beating myself up for what I coulda woulda shoulda done in the past and in the present.
     
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  5. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I felt bad for a split second and actually considered wiring him the money. Then I came to my senses. He quit his job not long ago and was unemployed for a couple of weeks. Luckily his boss is also a personal friend and when my son realized he had made a mistake he allowed him to come back with no loss of seniority (i.e., he will still be able to get full benefits in January). I hope he knows how lucky he is! However, it still remains that he's broke because of his decision to quit one job without having another one lined up. He also owes me $20 from a couple of months ago when I loaned him money for gas to get home after a weekend visit with me, and he has yet to repay that.

    I held my breath waiting for his reply to my message telling him sorry, can't help you, but not only did he not react badly but before he even read my message he told me never mind, that he was getting the money from his boss/friend.

    As I said, his position is far from ideal or perfect, but it's eons better than this time last year. And that's good enough for me!
     
  6. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    It sounds like he's got a better job than a restaurant now. He's gotten really good jobs in the past. You mentioned his grades were really good when He was younger. Do you think maybe he has over achiever syndrome --down on himself for not having a better job even when he has a good job, then after losing a good job, getting so down about it and self destructing? I definitely agree that his ex is toxic. He's smart enough to figure this out, so the time is coming when that relationship will end.
     
  7. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    He's a clerk at Circle K. He could make better money, at least seasonally, as a server but at least working at the Circle K business is steady year round. I'm not sure what you mean by his grades. Although he was certainly capable of getting good grades he never applied himself and in fact skipped school more than he was actually in class. He's enrolled in five or six different colleges since he got his GED at 17 and I believe between them all he's completed only two semesters. And the ex is...as far as I know...definitely a thing of the past. I was relieved when he decided to stay in Florida instead of following through on his plan to go back to Chicago, where the ex is.

    I don't care what kind of job he has, whether it be upper level management or bagger at the supermarket, as long as it's honest work and he does his best. Yes he's still making foolish choices but he also seems to rethink those choices and work to overcome the negative consequences those choices bring. Like I said, it may be an oxymoron but despite the situation he's currently in, I'm actually very proud of him.
     
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  8. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I agree with you 100%! It is really something to be proud of that your son chose to return to recovery after relapsing. So many don't make it back. Addiction is a fatal disease. It leads to 3 places only: jails, institutions, Nd death. To show the humility and courage necessary to return to recovery after a relapse is difficult. Your son seems to have grasped the importance of recovery and that it is to be found in NA/AA. That is huge. It's not the relapse that matters so much but what you do with the relapse. If he can learn from it and move forward, it will make his recovery stronger . Often long-term sobriety is at the other side of a relapse .

    You do have a lot to be proud of and so does your son.
     
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  9. RN0441

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

    Laura:

    I agree! One day at a time and one step at a time. It sounds like you're handling this well.
     
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  10. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    I agree as well!

    If Kay worked at McD's I would be proud of her for working. I have learned that not everyone is college material and that no longer matters to me. I now know college grads who have huge loans and can't get jobs. Honest work matters more than anything to me these days

    If Kay went to rehab on her own, I'd be over the moon.

    Sounds as though he may be having a positive breakthrough and you have every right to feel proud!
     
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  11. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Laura,

    Reading your posts awakens me a bit. You are looking at the glass that's 1/2 full. I often forget to do that. My youngest son had gotten a job at a pizza place. Was doing well for all but about a month. He got the flu, stayed out sick and was told that 9 other people quit that week too (true?) which really put them in a predicament so they let him go. Anyways, he's still living in his car and has one more paycheck he received from the week they held back. I'm detaching but frightened as I worry he won't get another job lined up and pay for his gas this winter.

    I also feel I back tracked because I have detached and stopped every other financial support except his cell phone and I recently got him a gym membership for $10/mo. so he could go and shower every day. He hadn't showered in a month. Am I wrong? Gosh, I get confused.
     
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  12. ChickPea

    ChickPea Member

    We are in a very similar boat.
    My daughter "has a job" (unverified)... it's not f/t, but it's a job and I hope it's true. At least enough to get her gas money and personal supplies.

    However, she's staying in her car (well it's her roommate's actually) a lot of the time. She has a gym membership and I think that's for the shower as well. I worry because it's getting cold here and that's not as viable an option. I'm hoping that reality is forcing her to go where it's warm (back to her apartment) and keep busy (at work).

    Again, though, it's not in my control. Months ago she said she'd have her apartment and 3 jobs by this time of year. She doesn't. It's not my fault; I'm doing what I can to support her in that goal.

    I'm not sure the $10 membership is back-tracking. It's a tool for him, and he can use it for health reasons and keep up on personal care (which is important). My daughter had the Obama phone or whatever it's called - a free one. You could pass on that option, if you feel like you're compromising too much with the phone part: https://www.obamaphone.com/obama-phone-eligibility
     
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  13. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    ChickPea it's getting cold here too. At first, last night they said 6 inches of snow by Friday. I felt like PTSD set in on me. I was so upset. I worry because it's not just the cold weather its maneuvering a vehicle around the streets when there's no parking because plows are coming down the road etc. It causes me so much stress.

    I felt in my heart the gym membership would be helpful for his hygiene but then I talked to my therapist and she said I'm just opening myself up again and showing him there's a chance if he keeps looking pitiful and asking for money that I'll help him. That I'll be the one to rescue, fix and save him once again. In the long run this kind of help, I'm told just perpetuates his situation and inability to take care of himself. It is definitely a struggle to break these enabling patterns. They at times feel embedded in my DNA and the line becomes blurred as to what's really right and wrong.

    I'm told making homeless son(s) (I have 2 :() comfortable in their cars allows them to get by. So having them feel the raw consequences of their inability to function and take care of themselves is supposed to be the catalyst to recovery. A real hard pill to swallow for us mothers. I don't know anyone who likes to see another person suffer even if they're doing something stupid.

    I have a long way to go before truly and deeply within my soul, this becomes something I naturally accept.
     
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  14. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Here's my opinion on this: if my daughter is doing well and helping herself- doing what she should, either working, going to school, whatever, then I don't mind doing some things to help her. For example, if she is in a good place and her car breaks down I am happy to pay half because she is doing what she needs to do, and this is something that will make her life a bit easier. When she is in a bad space- forget it. If she's not working or going to school, if she's drinking again and running around, if she's not maintaining housing I won't help her financially at all. To me, if your son is living in his car, that's his choice. If he really wants to get housing and have access to a shower he will save his earnings and figure it out. My daughter bounced around for awhile- homeless with a small child- and when she got sick of it she got a decent job, got on housing assistance and found a place to live. I guess I sort of live by the "reap what you sow" motto. If she's really trying to make her life better I don't mind giving her a hand, but if she's not then she's on her own. I feel like helping her when she's working and/or going to school is an investment in her future. Helping her when she's doing nothing is enabling that lifestyle and throwing money into an abyss, it's never ending.
     
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  15. louise2350

    louise2350 Member

     
  16. louise2350

    louise2350 Member

    JayPee: I feel the same way regarding snow and trying to get around it safely. Thankfully, now I don't have to worry since I'm retired but I do remember many times driving home at night (with cateracts) when it was cold sometimes still snowing out. I'm so thankful now that I have a free, safe garage to park my car during the snow and no more night driving. I also want to add to your feelings about not helping your child or rescuing him/her when they are grown ups. An example for me was when my d.d. needed her wisdom teeth pulled and she had no insurance for that (neither did I) she asked me to pay. She wouldn't agree to repay me if I did pay. So, instead she'd tell me she was taking some medication to sleep because of the pain, etc. She manipulated me and I fell for it. After all, she was 21 years old. So, to keep her from the pain, I paid for the whole thing. I wished now I hadn't done that and instead made her face up to her responsibility of this bill and discuss options of payment with the dentist's secretary. If the dentist demanded the bill be paid after the surgery, then I would've paid but she wouldn't even agree to repay me. I had no insurance to cover for her dental work but I just couldn't let her suffer the pain.
     
  17. RN0441

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

    It is so hard to see our adult children suffer even when they are the ones making the bad decisions that make them suffer.

    We sent our son out of state at the age of 20 to sober living after many visits to rehab. I had to get him out of our home because I was losing my mind and I knew that I could not help him because I had tried every single thing that anyone even suggested; counselors and other parents on this forum.

    In the end we do what we need to do to make ourselves feel better too. I know that if I had not sent our son away at that time and to the faith based program after he failed many times at rehab, that he would not be back with his family today. I do not even know if he would be alive.

    I think you need to try to listen to your therapist. You've gone 80% with this car thing, maybe she is right and you just need to go 100%. I'm not sure but I'd be asking myself that I'm sure.
     
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  18. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Maybe he could teach welding. After my mom graduated from cosmetology school, she decided fixing hair wasn't her thing, so they offered her an instructor position at the beauty school. Someone in my extended family graduated from nursing school. She didn't like being a nurse, so now she's teaching nursing.
     
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  19. ChickPea

    ChickPea Member

    As far as perpetuating the situation, as your therapist says... Me, too, hon. I get what your therapist is saying.
    I don't pay my daughter's membership, so I can't ration by saying I do. But I do understand why she wants it. At least, I can understand why I would think she would want it. But, I probably wouldn't pay it. Just me. Just where she is at right now.

    And then, there isn't a right and wrong... right?
     
  20. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    My son's phone was cut off due to nonpayment but he has a text and talk app (or whatever it's called) where he can make calls and send texts via wifi. It's free but not the most reliable service. Not horrible, but it does have connection issues, breaking up, weak signal, etc., on occasion. But he's able to stay in communication with his friends, his job, and me. He's on short term disability while he's in detox so still has a job to go back to once he's discharged. And at some point he'll be able to get his "real" phone reconnected. Something to consider. You could talk to your son about trying the app and if it works for him like it does for my son that's one more expense you can take off your list. Not only that, but it would be *his*, something that you couldn't theoretically take away if he didn't play by your rules. (Not saying you would or wouldn't do that). But I think their ownership of all or some areas of their lives gives them a sense of accomplishment.
     
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