Time of Year

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by StillStanding, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    There are so many difficult times of year... birthdays, Mother's Day, Christmas...

    But, this is one of the toughest times of the year. Watching all the social media posts of "back to school" with kids starting college. My son has had 3 false starts with school. I'm sure there won't be any more starts at school for him.

    I wouldn't mind that he didn't go to school if he did something else... anything else.

    I'm thinking about all the parents who's kids aren't going to dorm rooms this week. Take care of yourselves.
     
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  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I have been in pain all day over this. Thank you for your kind thoughts.
     
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  3. ColleenB

    ColleenB Active Member

    I find this time and spring graduation both sting a little. One of my sons childhood friends moms just posted her son starting his masters in engineering at a European university and my heart hurt for a day!

    Son feels it too. I have two bachelor degrees and a masters degree and the thought that my sons won't even have a bachelors makes me feel both sad and shameful. I know I shouldn't .... university isn't for everyone. I worked as a high school guidance counsellor the last three years so I know there are sooooo many other wonderful options for kids, but coming from my background and social circle, all my friends kids are doing university.

    I am trying to cut back on my Facebook as I find it makes me feel sad more than anything. We are only seeing the best of someone's life.... what they want us to see. I don't post "son started detox today... wish me luck that I can drive while crying my eyes out!"

    I wonder what Facebook would really look like if we were honest.

    I do try to be cognizant of the fact that this is also my sons story to tell someday and not mine. We live in a small place and I'm sure so many people know... but it isn't my place to tell everyone what is going on.

    To be honest ..... I've often wished he would move away so people wouldn't know what he has become. At least away I could pretend.... maybe

    Hugs to all the other moms and dads whose heart breaks during the fall brag fest
     
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  4. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I was right there with you yesterday. I cried all day. Epic fail for not taking my sons life personally.
     
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  5. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Thank you for that special shout out and words of comfort. I think I've been on the boards more recently trying to soothe this exact Seasonal Affective Disorder. Even if we are in acceptance and not in shame and have learned to think all the right things we can about it, I don't know that we're ever fully done grieving the loss of the dreams we had for them. And to think they are also hurting more now, is making me cry as I type. I should go make myself some tea.
     
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  6. I have been going through this for over 20 years now, and there are moments of anguish that I remember clearly. My son was gifted and had such a bright future and actually made it through 2 years of community college before it became so bad. I remember about that time driving near a renowned University where he would have attended and then seeing the kids his age heading to class. It was an extremely sad and heartbreaking moment for me.
     
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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Our dreams were always OUR dreams. Many parents whose kids DON'T do drugs do not decide to go to four year colleges. And some parents grieve. I admit not getting it as four year college often means a huge debt and no guarantee of a job. Many grads are not able to get the great jobs they expeted these days. I know of a woman with a Masters who is over a year out of graduating who never got a job in her field. And this happens a lot. Seriously, some think of a degree as automatic success and happiness. Some see it as a status symbol.

    I am very relieved that this is an angst I never suffered. Nor am I jealous if others have kids who go to a university and graduate. My kids are all hard workers and have or will have good jobs with no or two years of college.

    Just some thoughts...we who have difficult kids have bigger things to be upset about, if we must be upset, than that other kids are going to college. Who knows their real stories? As somebody said, blights dont make FB. Its like one big year long Christmas brag letter. Only the stuff that looks good is posted.

    Maybe I dont get it because I never went to college and never cared nor envied those who did...and even with a few struggling kids, my life ended up great. It took work on my part though. My life was not easy. And it was more about me than my kids.

    I feel my grown kids are highly successful. At any rate, it is best for us to stop looking at others and assuming all is terrific...and giving us one more reason to be sad. We dont know the child's back story....

    We cant look at our own lives either and think that what made us happy and successful is what our kids would find fulfilling.

    Each year this comes up as another reason for angst. My .02 is to try hard (certainly not easy) to not compare our kids to that of others...not every bright soul is college material. It isnt the end of the world. Nor is every young adult who is going to a dorm free of serious problems that we dont know about.

    I learned to not assume...ever...that if it looks good, it is good. Everyone has problems. Most dont share.

    My youngest will complete the police academy in 2018. I am one proud mom. I dont care if my BFF has a doctor for a child. I am so proud of my daughter. That doctor is not as special to me as my daughter. I am bursting with pride.

    Please....dont add extra stress to your lives. Be kind to you. You all are great caring parents or you wouldnt be here. Be as nice to you as you deserve...and you deserve a lot!
     
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    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  8. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    SWOT - I'm not sad that my son isn't getting a degree. I'm sad because he's wasting his life. Of course I have bigger things to be upset about. That doesn't change my grief.
     
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  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I get the sadness about wasting his life. So far. There is always the possibility that he will turn it around. I deeply hope he does.
     
  10. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Somewhere, I would be happy too if my child was engaged in anything productive or was excited about something healthy. Then, you're right, it would truly be me substituting my dream if I was sad at his otherwise productive choice instead of college.

    That's not what's happening or what I'm feeling or what he's feeling. He is stinging from the consequences of derailing the train in high school. He missed proms, sports teams, and wearing a cap and gown. Every single one of his friends from childhood on up have packed their bags for university. He applied and got in to a good university but has sabotaged his start date. He's not ready. That's ok with me. But he's roiling in blame right now. I've gotta think there's pain there. My dream was for him to be able to self-realize toward healthy goals and independence. And I realize life's not over.

    This season is a reminder to him of where he could have been. It's not a reminder to me of where he should have been. Just that he has issues his peers do not.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I understand. I just lived such a different reality than most here.

    I was learning disabled and loathed school. I didnt want to join in school activities. I dated often, but older boys who were mostly not from my school, didnt have any interest in prom (which botheted my mother...think she wanted to live it over) and I did graduate but refused to go to my graduation. My Dad told me Id forever regret it, but I never spent an hour even thinking about it. I didnt do great in high school, wasnt an honor student, and wasnt interested in walking across a stage in a "silly" gown and nobody could make me go.

    I wasnt a real problem in any conventional sense. I never did drugs and have never bern drunk in my life or had sex before marriage. But I wasnt sad for missing school experiences. I did go to some other schools prom at fifteen, but didnt like my date or the prom that much. I was home by elevin as I asked to come home.

    Maybe your son will regret missing stuff from high school when he straightens out and maybe not. I cant stop your grief, nor should you stop it if it overwhelms you and you must feel it, but just know maybe your son, when he is well, will not see these things as losses.

    I wish everyone here the best...and recoveries for every single child who brings us here.
     
  12. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    SWOT thank you for your kind words and insight.

    for me it is all the kids my son has gone to school with for all his years. I do know there back stories. It is not so much jealousy as it is loss of a dream. I respect it was my hope and my dream. I understand my sons life is his to choose what he does. And I agree it is not Simply the fact that they are not moving forward in school but are slipping through the cracks of a positive life down the path of drugs, addiction and dispair. These kids venturing off to positive options in life are certainly not spared all hardship.

    As a right of passage and an hope, a dream or expectation is lost, we grieve. To heal we have to embrace our grief; accept it and feel what we feel. I am not jealous for these children, I am happy for them but it pulls at my beats stage of grief.

    I for one would be happier if my son chose to do anything positive not just school.

    I put myself through nursing college, an undergraduate in health administration and an MBA with no support from my parents. We also put my husband through university as an adult. It is hard for us to understand why someone who would have had anything he desired would choose to throw his life away.

    I posted a memory of a back to school in the past that made me proud and happy about my son.

    You are right we deserve to be good and kind to ourselves.
     
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  13. RN0441

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

    I'm right there with all of you.

    My son had two starts at junior college also and both ended in a medical discharge because he went off the rails and could not finish. Oh well he though he could go to detox and then right back to it but we said NO! Fix yourself first!!

    My son can only stay sober for 3 months at a time. Then he goes on a binge and then he's back to being sober. This pattern truly sucks.

    How can he accomplish much at all and even when he does, he sabotages everything that he accomplishes during his binge?

    I feel pain that my son cannot accomplish anything and that is what this time of year reminds me of. So many false starts. I would not care if he goes to college or not. Just do something POSITIVE with your life and be happy.

    I have so many friends that have children that are doing so much with their life. I really am happy for them and feel sadness that our beautiful son is stuck where he is.

    His therapist said he feels shame and shame keeps people addicted. Well shame for all the bad is part of life. You have to deal with it; you have to feel FEELINGS. That is something that drug users do not want to do. Feelings are hard. But HARD is part of life!

    We have to keep living our life to the fullest and hope and pray our kids will too someday.
     
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  14.  
  15. I agree that college and having a certain job is not the most important thing in life. When my kids were young I valued that so much and life taught me that being the brightest child was of no significance. What made it difficult for me to see my son not going to a university is that he really wanted to. He started becoming mentally ill at 17 1/2 and he started drinking as a way of self-medicating. Through sheer determination, he made it through 2 years and actually was on the honor roll. He was hospitalized the first time about that time and never ended up going back. My son has very low self-esteem now and the one thing he can remotely hang on to is that once upon a time he was gifted.
     
  16. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    And it's his birthday today. Another difficult time.

    Even on my birthday for the past four years I have made the same wish blowing out my candles.

    Maybe if we all wish him well on his birthday, it will shift the prevailing winds.
     
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  17. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    You can train to be a CNA in one year, but it's not a job most people want.
     
  18. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    What's a CNA??
     
  19. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Certified Nurse Assistant. Here the training takes 12 weeks. I did it for a few years while I was in school. It can be very rewarding, but also very back-breaking and stressful.

    I think this time of year can also be hard for anyone who either
    - loved school and wants their children to experience that joy or
    - didn't really enjoy school and gets reminded of those times they felt out of place.

    I was thinking today about how guilty I have been of assuming that someone with intellectual gifts would want to pursue advanced degrees and white-collar type careers. From most projections, the jobs with the best futures are going to be in the skilled trades. Someone who is bright and enjoys physical labor and working with their hands is going to have a very promising future.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017