update-maintaining the status quo-chatty post ahead

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Signorina, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi everyone! This will be wordy - I don't know how to write any other way! As usual, I have been reading but have not had the energy or the moments of calm to post myself. I don't like to post when I am overwhelmed - and I have been overwhelmed these past few weeks. Nothing wrong - just crazy with the last weeks of school, my out of town guests and the excitement of easy child's last month of HS and a bit of a heavy heart.

    The good:
    PC17 is a HS graduate! Ceremony was lovely, we had picture perfect weather for his party and I greatly enjoyed the time spent with my very favorite cousin (PCs godmother) and her 10yo daughter who is my goddaughter. They came all the way from NY - we only get to see each other every few years or so - and it was a great weekend. I put together a slideshow of easy child's "life" and a little display of some of some of his childhood essays & report cards, his varsity letter, NHS pin etc. He opened the time capsule he made in 1st grade and I couldn't believe that the letter I wrote him back then was so apropos for our life today. Lots of happy, nostalgic tears. A bit of a gulp in my throat because difficult child's graduation was much the same and I worry about PC17 following in difficult child's steps.

    (While I know it isn't fair to think that way; it's just a little jaded voice in the back of my head. We thought we were home free with difficult child at HS grad too - his bright future ahead - and we never would've imagined we would end up HERE with him. C'est la vie.)

    The Not-so-bad: difficult child was OK. He cancelled on us for the Friday night ball game, which was a little last minute (day before) and a bit of a disappointment. After telling us he would take off most of Saturday for easy child's pre grad party which started at 4, he told us he needed to work until 5 and would be there at 6. We held dinner to 6 but he and his girlfriend didn't arrive until nearly 7. He did show up nicely dressed and with gift in hand and was polite etc.

    The ugly - He did not stay the night as planned. In fact my nephew (same age as difficult child) decided to drive him to and spend the night with him at difficult child's friend's "ALEX" house. (who is a local boy and difficult child's roommate in college town) My brother & sister in law decided to spend the night here; along with my mom and my cousin and her daughter -- 6 house guests! Next morning, I get up to go to store for breakfast groceries only to find that nephew's car is blocking us all in. Apparently, difficult child's girlfriend drove them wherever it is they went that night. My bro texts nephew to come move car. At 8:30 am, nephew shows up - having WALKED here ALONE from (supposedly) Alex's house. difficult child does not show up until 11:30 - long after Bro, sister in law and nephew leave to go home and 1/2 past the 11:00 time we set the day before. (was planning brunch at 11, ate it earlier due to early risers, unexpected house guests) Now, it's not a super long walk - maybe a mile or 2, but difficult child rarely sees his cousin. It was RUDE to make him walk here alone and the whole thing stinks of something else. Not sure what really went on - but the story doesn't wash. Plus there are a dozen late night texts between difficult child and Alex which is odd if difficult child was at Alex's house. TRYING NOT TO FIXATE but a GOOD REMINDER that difficult child is full o baloney.

    difficult child was polite, a bit quiet for sure, joined us for the grad ceremony, post ceremony family pics, and dinner downtown. After dinner, we drove him to pick up a backpack at the place he is crashing on the weekends - we surmise that he is couch surfing for the summer - so now H and I know where his other crash pad is.

    OK - if you have made it this far - thanks for reading.

    difficult child has come twice for Sunday dinner. It has been nice. Cool but nice. Each time, he has stayed for exactly 2.5 hours. Came at 5:30, ate at 6, left by 8 of his own accord. (says "I have to go now, girlfriend is picking me up") When I asked him (after dinner #1) if he would come back for dinner again, he said he hoped he could come every Sunday night. So far, so good. The first Sunday, he fed us stories of going back to the uni in the fall and talking to his advisor & that he could graduate in 3-3-1/2 years. (though he all ready has 33 credits, not sure why so long. Resisted the urge to ask, tho my "baloney alarm" is on high alert) It was on the tip of my tongue to offer to pay tuition, to give grocery money, to see if he wanted to bring his laundry here, spend the night, does he need new clothes, etc... BUT I HELD IT BACK!!! In fact, H and I had a long talk about it a few days after he left. We are going to try really hard to keep some distance. We are willing to help - but we won't offer. HE NEEDS TO ASK. WE MUTUALLY AGREED THAT WE WON'T CHASE HIM. I wrote this to my bff - the one who has been sober day by day since age 17- and in the interest of brevity, I am pasting it.

    He is playing nice, isn't volatile and we will just grin and bear it. He feeds us the lines about going back to school in the fall and we need to resist the urge to jump in and offer help and rescue him. As much as we want to; we can't chase him. I just hope that the side of him that is pretending to be a college student to save face (with his peers, friends, etc) and that willingly attends Sunday dinners will take over before he does something really stupid. Eventually his peers are going to start passing him by and that will really bother him...it will be interesting to see how M's graduation plays out and if inspires any regrets in him...

    and she replied:

    It's obvious you have been doing a lot of work on this with SOMEONE.(*) You are sounding really healthy and detached. You know what you need to do. Thats the first step. I know that doing is really hard but it does help when you know in your head that it needs to be done.......when you start to stray from your path you have that voice that is reminding you where the path is...

    I added the * because that "SOMEONE" is YOU ALL.

    So, I will be here, reading...and likely asking you to hold my hand and remind me of where that path is...and from the bottom of my heart - I thank you for showing me (to) the path of detachment.

    I would love to analyze what difficult child is up to, trade our mother's intuition back and forth. So feel free to chime in with your thoughts. I am likely to ask you to help me put 2 and 2 together in the days and months ahead. But for now, I am OK with just letting it unfold...probably because it's only June and he will be around thru August!

    Again, I thank you and I love you all.
    Lasted edited by : Jun 12, 2012
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Each small step forward........is..........a step forward. Hang in there. I understand. Hugs. DDD
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sig I missed you and it's so good to hear your update. Yes I read every word. Forst of all I would give you a high five or actually a hug if I were with you. The fact that you did not offer groceries or tuition or anything is amazing and I'm so proud of you. I just came back from my parent's support meeting and the topic tonight was "It's not your business". It was a great toipic for me tonight and we talked all about keeping out of their business and just minding our own and it was exactly what I needed tonight because I have been doing that all week and I am much happier and more peaceful not trying to get into difficult child's business.

    In fact she came over last week for her birthday and I have not talked to her since and I have resisted all temptation to text and ask if she is working and if she got paid and did she pay her rent and then I pull back and tell myself no it's not my business. One of the people at the meeting tonight who is in recovery told us that when we try to control addicts they pull the other way every time and will do the exact opposite. He said they don't want our interference or help or advice and the sooner we get that the better we will be. He said they don't want to hurt us but they don't want us knowing their business. He said they are wired differently and so what we think is beinghelpful or supportive they think of as interference or control.

    Here's the interesting part. As I was driving home I passed near where difficult child is living (ok so I went 4 miles out of my way to drive part her apartment) and a couple blocks from her apartment I see her walking down the street with her dog. She gave me this look like what are you doing here and I stopped and we chatted. I didn't ask anything about work or rent or anything, just told her she looked nice and chatted about the dog. She knows I was on my way home from the support meeting. I was very proud of myself, I didn;t give her a dollar for food or cigs or anything, just gave her a hug and drove off.

    You are doing a great job. We have to remember that this is their lives and they have to live it. It may not be the way we envisioned their lives to be but it is theirs to live. Keeping the line of communication open is good. That is what I am trying to do too. At some point if she wants help she knows where we are.

    It was good to hear from you and I'm gald all the festivities went well.

  5. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Sig: I'm so glad that you posted an update, because I have been wondering how you are doing. You should be very proud of your easy child's graduation, and of all his accomplishments. Your graduation party sounds like a lot of fun!

    My difficult child should have graduated from hs a week ago, but of course he did not graduate and he is still in jail. This time of the year has been very hard for me, because it seems like there are graduation parties and events happening every week-end in my town. I am hoping and praying that my difficult child will learn a lesson from all this time in jail and from the counseling that he has received in the drug program. But I am trying to stay busy so that I don't have time to feel sorry for myself and for my difficult child.

    You are doing are great job with detaching from your difficult child. I know how hard it is to do that, and by not helping and rescuing your difficult child you are really helping him in the long run. You can probably teach all of us a few lessons about detachment! HUGS to You....
  6. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest


    Thanks for the update. Even when I don't get here for a while, I still think of all of you and wonder how things are going.

    Sounds to me like there has been progress in several ways for you. I'm happy to here that he has been around and things aren't falling apart. You are setting boundaries and following through (ain't it awful sometimes?!?)

    I LOVE your phrase...you aren't going to chase him. I shall be using that myself.

    As for peers passing him by....that really bugs my son. He should be finishing his freshman year in college. Instead, he is facing months in a sober house and working fast food. Sure, I'm disappointed but he has to find his own path. And if the facts that his peers are doing things he wishes he were doing, he can choose to turn those emotions into positive actions for his life.

    I'm hoping that will be the same for your son.

    You speak about intuition. Mine was so very wrong so often that I have all but abandoned many of my old thinking patterns. I've learned I cannot assume addicts think like I do because they don't. The latest example is my son's new roommate at the sober house sent me a friend invite on Facebook. I have never met him. My thinking said..."isn't that sweet?" My therapist (who has a lot of time in substance abuse therapy/classes) said, "Wonder what he is up to?"

    See what I mean?

    Guess my ability to trust my feelings is another casualty of having alcoholics around.... Hang in there. Update when you can.
  7. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Sig, I am so proud of you and look up to you. What strength. And yet, isn't nice for your mommy heart to know he is alive and to just see him? I know there is pain as well, but you seem level headed and detatched with love.
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I have to say that I admire how accepting you all are with not knowing what your difficult children are up to. To me that seems to be very difficult thing to learn. And mine isn't even doing that badly right now. I worry and fret and wait that sky falls and try not check him all the time. I can check his financial records and phone calls and I do that more often than I should (I really shouldn't be checking the phone records at all, okay there could be gambling site registrations but still...) I have difficult time to keep my calls to him twice a week (he isn't happy if I call all the time but feels I don't have any confidence on him.) I just so would like to call and hear that he sounds okay.In Facebook and Twitter he sounds cheery but he does know very well they are not private in any way (he has hundreds of Fb 'friends' and almost no real ones, and when he started his Twitter account three of his ten first followers were sport reporters and one was his team's fan club, so not personal in any way) so he wouldn't put anything but nice stuff to those.

    Now I have a day to go before I really can call him next time and I'm already feeling like I would be sitting in ant nest...
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Its hard to think it but Cory is older than most of the kids here. Thats hard for me to think about because he is my youngest and was the youngest one I came here about...lol. He has come to realize that all of his peers in school have far passed him by and it now bothers him. Back when he was in his teens and late teens he never thought about stuff like that. It may have been when he was around 21 or 22 when he said the most idiotic thing to me. "mom, if I had realized there were girls in HS, I may have actually stayed there!"

    Im assuming that there must not have been many girls in the behavior class.

    The older he gets, the more he sees just how much further he sinks behind everyone else. The only thing he has going for him is he isnt a complete jerk. If he could do it over again he would do it oh so differently. Sad he cant get a do over.
  10. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Personally. I have learned I cannot save him from himself. Checking up on him all the time only drives me batty. And (if you read my latest post about his 'daughter'), you don't even know if what you learn is the truth or one of the lies they tell all the time.

    Please know I have stood in your shoes and say this with the utmost kindness...maybe you are getting a 'fix' by calling him. You said "hear that he sounds okay". Does it REALLY mean he is okay?

    I've worked towards weaning myself from that. It's a process but I am much much happier now. Every time I hung up, either he said the right things and I felt better (got my "fix") or he didn't and I fretted (got a "bad trip"). Even if I got the "fix", it didn't last long.

    Plus, if you back off, then his support system is slightly further away. It may cause him to contact you more. That's what happened with mine.

    Just my two cents...
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Very true. And very hard!

    Yes, it does ease my anxieties to hear his voice, hear that he is talking normal things, hear he sounds okay. It of course does not guarantee anything. He is a good liar especially when it comes to specifics. But to be honest, his mood does come through. And that is a thing I worry. Not so much what he says he is doing or anything. And I don't even ask about gambling, it wouldn't even be helpful, I just want to know he is not in any acute crisis.

    I know I can not prevent them anyway. I know I can not solve his crisis, but not knowing is worse than knowing for me. Maybe it is just, that I'm getting 'my fix' and very few 'bad trips' lately. Even his crisis he has been handling better than I hoped for.

    Physically we are not so close, he lives three hours away and we do meet usually only about once a month. I would like to see him more often but he is busy (and honestly is, it's not (at least just) avoidance.) He does call, mostly when he needs something (I don't mind, his needs are mostly appropriate, he needs advice with some practical matter or something) or because he needs to talk about his finances (I do control his finances from his own request to help him stay clean from gambling, it was rough this winter, but lately he has been more respectful about it.)

    I know that part of what i do is not healthy, I just have very hard time letting go.