The boy who cries wolf.


Active Member
I left Colorado, got back to Illinois, and a couple of days ago, Difficult Child called and told me he wanted to go to live in Providence, RI with his newly found friend RT. I met RT several times and felt that he is a good guy who is a good "match" for my son.

My ex had told Difficult Child that he would pay for a bus ticket to a destination of his choice-he was nudging him towards Portland, OR, as that seems to be a place where the homeless are acknowledged, taken care of, helped and have a healthy working system in place. Difficult Child agreed and was mentally gearing up to leave.

Difficult Child suddenly expressed a desire to go to RI. His friend, RT, could get him a job and could stay with him in his mother's house.

Ex-hub bought the ticket. $ 300. Difficult Child and RT were going together Saturday 12:01 am (That's yesterday). Difficult Child said he had picked up the ticket from the bus station. All day long, ex and I were ruminating about where they might be. I texted RT several times to see if all was okay.

Then I decided to see if exgf's mom had been in touch with me. Neither ex nor I had faith that Difficult Child was really on that bus. She had emailed me to say that Difficult Child was in Denver, drinking, in a bad way. He had given his bus ticket to RT (who was apparently distraught and crying-NOT the behavior of the young man I felt I had come to know) and wanted to go "throw in the towel" and go to long term rehab.

She took him to hospital and they examined him and said they would release him and help him find residential rehab, long term only.


I think that this really is the last straw. Even as I type this, I see how STOOPID we have continued to be. Guess I'm seeing the light. God dammit, it only took me about 12 years...


Well-Known Member
Aw BG, I'm sorry he did this to you and your ex. All I can say is that Difficult Child probably meant every word when he accepted that bus ticket, based on poorly made plans that change in a fraction of a second. That's unfortunately just the way so many of our difficult children make major life decisions.

Last year my Difficult Child spontaneously decided to make a cross-country trip with no resources and got stranded in the middle of nowhere. We wouldn't help him, so he got ex-girlfriend's mother (he had not had any contact with ex-girlfriend or her family for well over a year) to fund a bus ticket to Southern CA because he had heard they support the homeless there and he could find a job. Less than 24 hours later he begged her for a return ticket because he "didn't like it" there, and she supplied it. Less than a month later he was off to Louisiana based on a promise like the one RT gave your Difficult Child. Less than a week later he was asking for help getting home again -- this time ex-girlfriend's mother finally refused it and Difficult Child had to find his own way back.

We see a light in their eyes and think, "Maybe THIS is it -- he seems excited about it, and he hasn't been excited in a long time. I will support him in this." Then they are distracted by the next shiny object and it turns out to be all for nothing.

I'm so sorry he did this, but we never know -- maybe the time is right for that long-term rehab. Maybe this time it will stick.


Active Member
Thanks for your support, Alb!

I keep thinking that I have finally nailed this detachment thing. If you read my posts, it's almost like I went backwards-and I don't really think I felt like this until recently...until my trip to Colorado. Or maybe even 48 hours ago, when I thought my kid was on an exciting but scary path. That he never even intended to take!

Then something like this happens and I have to question my whole way of thinking. I THOUGHT I had it all squared away...But really I should be NOT thinking and just letting the waves wash over me. It's REALLY not my problem.

Always a work in progress...

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
BG, I'm so sorry. I know how it feels to be "hoodwinked" as you put it. My Difficult Child is a pro at lying right to my face and have been duped by him because I so wanted to believe him.

That's just it, we so want to believe them when they tell us something that sounds good. Yes, the thought of "this is it, this time he/she will get it together" then WHAM we are slapped right back into reality.

Don't be too hard on yourself, we always want to have hope that our Difficult Child will finally decide to make better choices. The key to this is temper the hope with reality. I will always have hope that my Difficult Child will one day start making better choices but I keep my level of hope at about 1%. It's not that I have given up it's just that until I start seeing action that matches his lip service I'm not buying into it.

I do hope he will be able to get into a long term rehab center and that he will truly embrace all that it can offer.

((HUGS)) for you BG.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Or maybe even 48 hours ago, when I thought my kid was on an exciting but scary path. That he never even intended to take!

He may have intended to take it, blackgnat.

It helps me to believe there are no villains, here. Our kids are in trouble, serious trouble. All we have to do is have a look at the lives they might have claimed, the lives we were willing and able to have given them, and compare that with the defilement of where they are, now.

For me, detachment has been such a long, hard road. I think the most important thing I have learned is that I don't know.

I don't know how to fix this, or how to think about any of it, or how to think about myself and my role, or lack of same, in it.

I don't know.

But what I do know is that neither of my children would willfully have chosen what has happened to them, and to their lives. I do know that there is no mother anywhere who could have handled the horrible disappointing or disgusting or terrifying things any better than I did, than D H and I did.

So I have a little place to stand, now that I know that.

I am not part of the badness; I am not the force for good, rushing in to set the world right. I am the mom. I wait, and I believe, and I have patience. I try to learn what is the best position for me in my role as mom, and for all of us from my role as mom. I learned that what I want is for my kids to respect themselves. If they can do that, then the other things will fall into place or they won't, but at least then, the kids' will know why they are where they are.

They are not where they are because I was a bad mom. Nor do their current positions in life have anything to do with their father, or with anyone but them and the choices they make and how they respond to whatever the consequences or rewards of those choices, are.

So, this feels pretty true to me; again, what it gave me after all these years was just the slimmest little place to stand. Just the slimmest little place from which I might gain perspective and respond differently.



Active Member
Yes, I think he might have intended to go. I just talked to him. he said that RT was so distraught, didn't have a ticket and as only one of them could go, Difficult Child gave the ticket to him.

He was calling from exgfs mom's phone. He is in Denver, no money and was asking for me to wire $40 to him. I don't even have that to spare. He can't seem to get into any places so far. He was crying and I was too because at the end of the day there's something missing in him that won't allow him to make good choices. He's getting desperate and hopeless.

I don't know how to help him , either. It's just so sad which is why I try to not feel . If I feel, then I think my heart will break and the tears will never stop.


Active Member
His dad has such firm boundaries-he was very hard assed when I told him about the phone call. I don't blame him for being mad-Difficult Child DID smash the window of his bus and now he gives away a $300 ticket that my ex can't afford.

But I just slip back into my mode. Difficult Child said he wanted to come back to IL.

Also exgfs ma emailed me to say that IL doesn't necessarily have better services and that there were plenty of resources in CO, but she feels that Difficult Child isn't willing or ready to make a commitment to go to rehab. He has been calling places, but a lot of them don't take Medicaid. There are free places but some are Christian based and he also said that if he went to one of those free places, he'd be stuck there.

So there's a certain amount of ambivalence on his part, that I really don't think he can afford to have. I'm just so weary of it all...


one day at a time
BG, hang in there. Stay the course. He sounds like he is getting desperate, which means a bottom is coming. That is when there is another chance to change.

One thing I have learned is to stay quiet and watch. Wait. See what happens.

Last summer when Difficult Child got out of jail (late June 2014) he went straight to the street, of course. Wouldn't stay in the shelters---he was "mad" at them. (Really???). Okay. So once again, he was wandering around the town of 120,000 where I live, sleeping outside, day shelter during the day for showers and computer and food. Same old, same old.

Then...he got a job. At McDonald's. Good, right? Hmmmm...we'll see.

So we waited and we saw. He slept on a bench outside the day shelter---the police told him he could sleep there without being rousted up and out of all of the other places he was sleeping.

I gave him a blanket. Every now and then, once in a few weeks' time, I would invite him here for dinner. If he hadn't showered, I let him shower. He ate. Then I took him back to that bench. I'll never forget how hard that was for me. I literally thought the pain and grief of doing that was going to kill me, it hurt so badly.

He kept working. He got up in the middle of the night and walked to McDonald's to work at 4 a.m. Then, one day, he got a bike from a friend. Still on the bench, but now with a bike.

We did nothing.

One time after a big rainstorm, he asked me if I would wash the blanket and bring it back to him that night. I did that.

He asked once if he could come here and sleep one day because it was really hot outside and he was so tired. I said no.

I worked hard to keep myself and what I did at a very bare minimum. I asked myself all the time: Is this something I should do?

He asked to wash clothes. Most of the time I said no. I didn't want to get into the business of all of that.

I knew that was a very slippery slope.

It was really hard to figure out what to do and what not to do. It was exhausting.

Then his girlfriend stabbed him and things got really dicey. We put him up in a motel for several weeks. We knew---his dad and I---that he couldn't come to our houses.

Finally, in late October, we helped him get into an apartment. This was after several months of watching him be consistent with things. No arrests, no more trouble, working, sleeping on that bench, acting nice, saying thank you, accepting our not otherwise specified.

We were cautiously optimistic but even then, we were taking a big risk, and we were concerned about what might happen. We helped, but we helped the very least that we could. We kept staying way back so he could struggle and figure it out and make his own safety net.

It is very hard to do all of this, and it takes a lot of back and forth, mistakes, yes, and it is exhausting.

But what we were doing before----it was even worse. Helping and helping and helping...and nothing getting better.

I say all of this because they must learn to live life on life's terms. We cannot cushion that for them, and when we do, it only prolongs the inevitable.

I'm glad you don't have $40 to give him. See what happens. We will walk with you through this. We're here for you.


Active Member
Just got an email from exgf's ma-Difficult Child called her and said he'd been picked up by the police while he was sleeping on the street I guess in the middle of the day.

She said he was extremely intoxicated and that the police "stole" money from him-they said it was money he owes them anyway, but he feels they could have left him something. I guess they didn't take him to jail, which is something he's trying to achieve-3 hots and a cot is very appealing to him right now.

Thanks for the kind words, all. I don't even know what to think. He's had so many "bottoms" that I can't think of how much lower he can go. Well I can, but would rather not. Is there NOTHING I can do? (I know the answer, but it still seems wrong). This is my son.

I am so stinking sad right now.


Active Member
I really do take your point, COM, but I don't even know if that kind of progress can happen for my Difficult Child. I keep telling him he doesn't HAVE to have the same outcome-sobriety is the hardest struggle he will have to face and it's a lifelong struggle, but people do it ALL THE TIME.

Yesterday he called me STRAIGHT OUT OF DETOX. Fresh start, only want long term program but nobody will take Medicaid (there are free programs but with waiting lists) not interested in drinking. And here we are again.


Well-Known Member
You know the answer to your own question. There is nothing you can do to stop his addiction. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

There is a lot HE can do, but you can't make him do those things.

He has to want to quit as much or more than you want him to quit. That's sadly the bottom line. Many parents of addicts ask themselves this question all the time. You can bring him home, go through hello again, and he still won't quit until he wants to and your home cooking won't make him quit. He will do the same thing at your house as he does in the streets unless he take a serious turn and decides to change his entire life. Getting sober is more than just not's making a whole new set of friends and stopping the rebellion against the entire world.


one day at a time
Watching this kind of insanity is either mind-numbing or crazy-making. It drives us insane to think we can do nothing but watch as they continue the insanity. And we are so afraid they will die.

To answer your question straight on, I spent a lot of time thinking about my son dying on the street or in a ditch somewhere messed up on drugs or in a drug deal or a burglary gone bad. I spent time with that thought because not thinking about it was worse, trying to completely deny or block the fact that his lifestyle was very dangerous and anything could happen. I had to face the fact that it could happen. And the fact that none of us have any guarantees either.

And I tried hard not to always go to the worse case scenario. It was possible that he could get clean and straight and I had to face that I had no clue if and when and how that might happen and that was awful too. Thinking this could go on for decades and then, that it might not and the ending would be very bad.

I'm not saying I got okay with any of that. I am saying I did the same thing you are doing right now.

And I also want to say that I wish you didn't have to go through this for one more Minute.

Decide what you can do and what you want to do. You can only do what you can live with and you are the only one who really knows your situation.

We are here for you and I am praying for strength and peace for you tonight.


Active Member
Thanks SWOT and COM and all who offered kindness and wisdom.

I'm really sorry that I show up on here every now and then with the same problem in various degrees of being "healed" (for want of a better word) . Sometimes I'm outraged or gutted or heartbroken or incredulous or accepting. It just seems to cycle, depending on the latest round of shenanigans.

I REALLY do know in my heart that there's nothing I can do. I REALLY do accept that he could die (just as we all could at any time) . I KNOW I have to live my live for me, with this infinite sadness that runs like a thread through my life-as we all do on here.

He called yesterday and we had the usual talk, the outcome of which is that he is kinda happy with the way things are. So that's what I accept, though who the hell wouldn't want to change that is a mystery to me. But I'm not him. So I feel at more peace today. I just hate the way that his feelings become the barometer on which MINE operate. He's sad, so am I. He's desperate, so am I . He's content, so am I. He's destructive or drunk or high, well I just want to throatpunch him.

I guess I need so much more time on the therapy couch to get this shyt through my thick head. When I say to him, "Son, you'll figure it out because it's your life and you're the one who is in it" , I really have to start believing it 100 %. Not just believing it 75% and thinking, "I'll try and get everyone else to figure it out for you". I really HAVE got better, because at one time and for many years, I wouldn't have even had the courage to say THAT.

Baby steps.


Active Member
He called me the other day, had been drinking. Was with all his homeless buddies. Then last night his dad texted me to say he had come by to use the phone. Ex refused. He has come to the conclusion that he is NOT any part of DCs solution. Difficult Child didn't apologise for the bus ticket incident, just said "I effed up". Ex said, "yes you did". Difficult Child was dumbfounded and left.

He then called exgfs ma and asked her to take him to detox, which she did. He was RAGING about his father. Exgfs ma said she has never seen him so angry, but the thing that struck her most was how narcissistic he was being-everything was someone else's fault. He said he needed to go to rehab RIGHT NOW. She is very frustrated that he has had so many opportunities to get a place in rehab but has refused them, yet when he wants it, he wants it to happen yesterday.

He left me a very tearful vmail saying he wanted to end it all. He told exgfs ma that if he wasn't so chicken, he would kill himself. She has reached the end of her patience and told him that unless he is willing to actually DO something to make changes, she will not pick him up when he asks to go to detox.

So now it's all on him. Last time he got out of detox, he was drinking the same day.

I don't know really what I'm asking, just am venting. If he DOES get on some kind of list, he will still be on the streets until he can get a bed.

I don't know how much longer I can stand this.


Well-Known Member
You do not have to take his calls. You do not have to read his text messages. You do not need to discuss him with exg mother, who should stay out of it period, JMO.

You are entitled to a drama free life.....unless you like it on some level. Believe it or not there ARE people who love drama. It makes them feel alive.

You do not owe this person who nearly killed you a d a m n thing.


Active Member
Believe me, pasa, I LOATHE and detest the drama. I have had enough to last me a lifetime.

And you're right-I don't have to communicate with him at all.

I have no idea why I keep forgetting that he assaulted me. And all the other things. Maybe that is my coping skill?


Well-Known Member
BG, You absolutely can not allow yourself to forget what he did to you. He showed you who he has become. Some people will say its the drugs/mental illness that made him do that. He is still using. That is still him. He gets clean this time...maybe. Don't fall for it. One year or better yet two years of sobriety/0 drug use, continued therapy, real proof, then maybe you can start to have some kind of relationship maybe.