Update (white flag waiving...)

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Mikey, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Hi gang. Sorry it's been so long. For a while, not much was changing, so there wasn't much to say. But since McWeedy's birthday, things have changed for the worse (worst?)

    I did have a much longer post, but the end story is pretty simple: Starting the weekend of his 18th birthday, McWeedy escalated his acting out - breaking curfew, not answering his phone, cutting class, and disappearing overnight two weekends in a row. Each episode provoked harsher and angrier responses from me, all met with an "I don't give a Sh**" attitude, and followed up with yet another episode. I finally told him it was too much, and it was time for him to leave.

    wife stepped in and delayed that until December, when he gets out of school. And this weekend he almost lost that deferral when he pushed my buttons again; I took everything out of his room that he didn't outright own, and started packing his stuff up in boxes. wife put the kabosh on that, but the end result is still that he is going. Not what I wanted, and not in the way I would have wished, but it's his choice. And the worst part is that wife is blaming me for driving him out of the house.

    When I found that out, I went back to McWeedy and offered to remove all restrictions from him and give him all the benefits he expects (food, shelter, college tuition, etc.). The only condition would be that while he's living with us he gets clean and works to stay clean, and that I'd do whatever I could to help.

    He turned me down flat. He said "you wanted me gone, so I'm leaving". I said "I never wanted you 'gone', but I couldn't handle your acting out any more". I realize now that his original therapist's prediction has come true - that he would escalate his acting out until there was no other option than for him to leave - which he would do, and then use his self pity and faux anger to justify jumping headfirst into the lifestyle he wants to lead.

    That's exactly what happened, and now I'm the fall guy.

    wife's gripe is that if he leaves, not only will he not go to college, he'll probably lose any opportunity he has to "get ahead" (can you really get ahead when you're an active drug addict?). She's also afraid that if he has another attack, or OD's, and he's not here at home, then he'll die because his good buddies will be just as stoned as he is and won't help him. I know that if that happens, it'll happen regardless of where he's living, but wife doesn't see it that way. So now I'm at fault for driving him away into a lifestyle that will prevent him from being successful and may lead to him dying.

    Pretty heavy albatross to wear, let me tell you.

    I've suspected that this would happen, but what I didn't count on was wife blaming me for it too. At this point, she'd rather let him stay in the house (even with his increasingly disruptive acting out) and give him time to "grow out of it". There's more to the story, but in the end that won't fly because of my daughter still living in the house as a young teen. I won't willingly let her be exposed to that.

    So now, McWeedy is making plans to walk away from his truly hellish life at home and move in with a drug buddy from school in January. wife is blaming me for driving him out of the house into a life of squalor and further addiction. And my other two kids are caught in the crossfire. Sarge wants to beat McWeedy to a pulp for damaging our family, and may even try to get him arrested. Dancer just wants everything to be better - between me and wife, between me and McWeedy, etc.

    Life in Mikey's house isn't so fun right now.

    But there's a few things I know now, and I can thank PotMonster's current psychiatric at the drug study for the knowledge. Too much to list for now, but suffice it to say that I now know that for two years I was fighting a losing battle to convince - or make - McWeedy change. I tried all the other "soft" approaches, and when they failed I started ratcheting up the consequences. Ultimately, I shot my last and biggest bullet by threatening to eject him from our home and remove our support - and I meant it.

    But he turned it back on me, because that's exactly what he wanted. Now that he has it, he's going to use it to the fullest extent possible.

    In short, I've been played into giving my son the excuse he needed to give up and walk away into God-knows-what, and he leaves feeling guilt-free because even my own wife now thinks I'm the cause.

    I'll save you all the soul-searching and chest-beating I've done since then. The psychiatric at the drug study has repeatedly suggested Al-anon or Nar-anon. I tried it a few times and quit because they all seemed to be focused on kicking their kids out of the house. I wasn't ready for that, then, or maybe I wasn't hearing them correctly. But it's time to give it another try.

    My son may not have hit bottom yet (and I fear the day he does), but I have. So I find myself at Step 1 of the Nar-Anon 12 Steps: "We admitted we were powerless over the Addict -- that our lives have become unmanageable." True enough. And, just like an addict won't seek help until they truly want help, I guess people like me won't seek help either until we finally accept this first step. Many of you (and many others) have tried to help me with this, I know, and I thank you all for it.

    But I had to get here on my own. And now that I've arrived, another journey begins. Wish me well.

    Thank you all for your support, your honesty, and even your well-meant contrariness. As I'm able, I'll try to keep you up to date. I may even throw in the occasional quip or post once in a while. But even if I don't post much, I'll still be lurking.

    Thanks again my friends.

  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm so sorry. Not that you told McWeedy bye-bye but that your wife is not even remotely on the same page. You don't deserve that. I truly hate that McWeedy is winning. Ultimately, he loses but he doesn't see it that way now.

    I'm going to make a suggestion and you're more than welcome to toss it out the window, but here goes. What do you think of the idea of wife and McWeedy getting an apartment in December? Not a separation per se -- you two would still be a couple but in different households. This way, she could think she is protecting her son. When she finally sees the light and tells McWeedy to try surviving on his own, the apartment is given and you guys are back together. That way, Sarge and Dancer are protected from their brother and your wife knows she has done everything possible to save a drug addict.

    I know this is not what you want and, hopefully, not what wife wants, but it may be a way to save your marriage. Right now, it doesn't sound good in that regard.

    Is wife also talking to McW's shrink? Is there any way he might be able to get through to her?

    Again, I am so sorry. Many HUGS. Take care of yourself.
  3. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member


    No white flag needed. Everyone is pulling for your son, just as we are pulling for all the difficult child's on the board (and not on the board, for that matter). None of us would be here in this little corner of cd.com if we didn't know first-hand what drugs do - to the addict and to all those around them.

    My heart goes out to you. I don't understand your wife's theory of basically keeping her head in the sand and allowing it to continue under your roof, while you do have your daughter in the home to think about - but that's obviously what she wants and how she's getting through this. We all cope (or not cope( in different ways. No one is here to pass judgment on anyone.

    I do know this must all be very difficult for you - trying to put an end to the nightmare of living with a drugging teen, and having your wife put the kabosh on everything you're doing to try to make it better. However long it took you to arrive at this pont, you did arrive. However, it sounds like you have been fighting a losing battle, since there's no way you can carry through on a threat, if wife won't support it. It certainly sounds like your son has known that all along, so why change. Dad can threaten all he wants, but mom will null and void the punishment. Sounds like difficult child is in a win/win situation.

    Sending good thoughts your way that your son finds his way to the right path.

  4. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    MB: Separation won't work. I offered to leave her with the kids, and she wouldn't have it because of what it would do to Dancer. Conversely, it would take a small nuclear weapon to separate her from Dancer, especially over something she feels is not her fault.

    And ultimately, I still think that this is what McWeedy wants, and now that he has it he won't let it go. I asked him last night if he truly wanted to leave, and he said "no". Hoping to connect with some vestige of humanity in him, I followed up with "what can we work on to let you stay?". I was shocked by his answer: He said "I don't want to stay, either. The only reason I don't want to go right now is because my life will s.uck being on my own". It was implied that it wouldn't s.uck as much as staying here, though, under the tyrannical rule of a despotic, psychotic parent who just doesn't "get it" that drugs and free-wheeling lifestyles without boundaries are okay.

    I know there's still a few months between now and then. But at this point, barring a miracle of God (or him getting arrested, institutionalized, or something similar) I don't see this ending any other way than how McWeedy wants it to end; with him walking out the door in a fit of self-righteous anger and throwing himself into the druggie lifestyle.

    Like I said. Not what I wanted, but it's his choice and I can't stop it. I'm simply trying to come to grips with how I'm going to handle it when it happens, as well as trying to figure out how I'm going to handle the likely crisis that will emerge in my relationship with wife when he leaves.


  5. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Deb. Funny thing is that wife didn't stop me from threatening to make him leave, and isn't trying to make him stay, either. There's a weird, sick feeling in my stomach that in her own way, wife is getting what she wants out of this as well - an excuse to break the relationship without feeling guilty. Maybe that's overly dramatic, but I can't shake that feeling.

    I don't know if I could have done it, but I even offered (to her) to completely back out of the situation and let her handle it however she saw fit; let him stay, let him drug, let him come and go, whatever. Her call, her responsibility. Nope, she wouldn't go for that. Her stance is "He's already leaving, do you really think he's going to beg and grovel to stay?" Hunh? That's not what I said, but whatever. End result is that she's thrown this squarely back on my shoulders, and refuses to engage and try to help out. What happens, happens, and it's all on me.

    And, for whatever reason, I think that's the way she wants it. I hope I'm wrong, and simply in the doldrums over the whole McWeedy thing, but I don't think I am. Guess I'll find out in January if/when McWeedy finally does pack up the few pathetic things he actually owns and leaves.

    Hoping for the best, but ready for everything else, I guess. In the end, I can't control her or her thoughts/actions any more than I could McWeedy. I'll just have to pick my way through the briars and keep my injuries to a minimum.

  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Mikey,
    I felt so sad as I read your post. I think you have a really good understanding of what has happened and why. I wish wife could see things clearly, take her blinders off. Just the fact that she is worried about college and him getting ahead shows how much in denial she is. She also is putting him ahead of dtr but she probably doesn't see it that way. I like MeowBunny's idea of wife and son having apt. together but maybe that sounds crazy to you.

    Well, perhaps your son will find it isn't so great living on his own and it will be a wake-up call for him. I hope you and wife can repair your relationship--it would be a shame for your son to break up your marriage, and imagine the guilt he may one day feel if he succeeds.

    I'm glad you are here, please update as you feel up to it. We are all behind you 100 percent!

  7. habibi

    habibi New Member

    Any possibility of getting your wife to post here?
    We would REALLY like to talk with her.
  8. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: habibi</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Mikey, Any possibility of getting your wife to post here? We would REALLY like to talk with her. </div></div>

    Nope, none at all. I'm the melodramatic, over-analyzing toxic parent, remember? For years, I've tried to get her to go to counselling sessions with me and McWeedy; the few she attended she felt were a waste of her time. And coming here to post? First, she's not much of a "poster", and prefers to keep her private life "private". She hates it that I post here at all. If I had to guess, she'd rather force her hand into a running garbage disposal than post here.

    We - all of us - are on separate, but somewhat congruous paths. Sarge was the first to hit his bottom and find his way. Hopefully, I'll be next. McWeedy and wife, well, they're still walking on golden bricks towards Oz. Dancer is simply running down her path trying to keep up with the rest of us.

    No, I don't think wife will come here, any more than she'll engage with me on McWeedy's real problems (and what it's doing to us).

  9. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Jane, I think the college and "getting ahead" things are important to her, but her real fear is letting her little boy go out into the world and away from her protection. I can't say that I blame her. She wants to keep him home and under her "care" to give him the chance to "grow out of it". The other stuff is just pretty window dressing to that fear.

    Even if he's still living with us, if he OD's, passes out and stops breathing, it won't happen at home. If his lungs collapse into another morbid asthma attack from smoking or hitting the bong, it won't be at home, either. If he flips his car while driving drunk (or with someone else who's driving under the influence), it won't happen in front of our house where we can stop it. His acting out is based on defiance - disappearing and doing the things we don't want him to do, and then coming home after the fact.

    If the worst happens while he's living at home, it won't happen at home. He simply won't make it home.

    That's the real truth, but I understand the need to feel like you're doing something to keep it from happening. I did it for two years, and may still continue doing it. But at least I'm not lying to myself any more. Small as it is, it's a start, but one wife hasn't made with me.

  10. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member


    I don't know your history other than what this post contains. Here's a couple things for your consideration anyway:

    I think "blaming" the other parent for kid's difficulties is normal - wrong, not healthy nor productive - but normal none the less. I blamed my husband to a certain degree (poor guy). He was not to blame ... I was just hurting so he was an easy target.

    I think manipulative kids are masters at what I call "Divide and conquer". Sounds like your son has you and the spousal unit 'divided'. If he can conquer he wins.

    Protect your marriage. It'll be there a long while after the kiddies fly the coup.
  11. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member


    Glad to see you took a stand and set some boundaries with both McWeedy and wife. I didn't see how this was going to go down any other way. At least now you can move on. McWeedy will either succeed or fail - his life - and wife, I have a feeling, will come around too. Maybe she thinks she wouldn't be able to live with the guilt if something terrible happens because of her decision. I think the guilt is unavoidable either way. Sorry you have to be the fall guy. I'll be hoping for the best.
  12. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Josie: not sure what boundaries I took with wife. I basically gave in and offered her the chance to do whatever she wanted, she chose to take a pass. Had she decided to accept, though, and let McWeedy keep drugging while living at home, I don't know what I would have done.

    And in truth, I now see (thanks to McWeedy's psychiatric) that I wasn't taking a stand with him, either. I was engaged in a doomed effort to control him, when control was never possible (at least not by the time we found out what was happening).

    I think the only stand I'm taking now is that I've finally decided to do something for myself and find a NarAnon or AlAnon group to attend. And I don't think I'll let McWeedy keep drugging at home now, either. But that showdown with wife hasn't occurred (yet), and I'm not sure of my gonadal fortitude when it does occur.

    I'm not very happy with myself when I look back at the last two years, but I feel that I'm at a new starting point. I'll wait and see how it goes in January before I make any decisions about whether I've moved forward or not.

  13. Chele

    Chele New Member

    Wow- we have much in common. You have had some great replies. Here is what we try to do with our son. First you both need to work together and agree how to handle these issues in the future. Make a list of what you can ignore up to what behaviors are classified as getting kicked out of the housers. Do all your research now- research the appartments and locations. Get the money saved and how much you will be helping him on his own or with your wife in the aparement for a while. At this age, I agree that we must think of the family as a whole and not allow one person to ruin that whole unit. So- make a date, once a week to set your plan of action for the next time. Maybe counseling to find your compromise. We are setting our plan now. Our son will be 18 in Jan and we are counting the days. Good luck..

  14. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Thanks Chele. At this point (for us), I don't know if there's any planning to be done. He's already at the "you're on your way out" stage, by his own choice and reinforced by wife. I don't see that changing unless a miracle happens or wife tosses the rulebook out to keep him home - and threatens me with a divorce (or worse) if I interfere.

    If he leaves under these circumstances, he leaves with what he can carry that he owns. Again, unless there's a major blowout with wife involving sharp or exploding objects, I don't see this changing; If I'm not going to support his acting out at home (where we at least have the illusion of control), why would I pay a dime to support his living somewhere else where he can act out without restraint?

    I think the only thing I may offer is to continue carrying him on my medical insurance, but even that's dicey if he's not a full-time student, and/or if he's no longer considered my dependent. My company has been pretty hard-core lately about proving that an "adult" dependent is eligible for insurance under their plan.

    I certainly hope that your proactive planning works out for you and your SO. For us, though, I fear that it's time to call in the Hospice team - no other options left, other than that hoped-for miracle.

    Thanks again, and good luck to you and your family.

  15. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Mikey</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Josie: not sure what boundaries I took with wife. I basically gave in and offered her the chance to do whatever she wanted, she chose to take a pass. Had she decided to accept, though, and let McWeedy keep drugging while living at home, I don't know what I would have done.

    I think the only stand I'm taking now is that I've finally decided to do something for myself and find a NarAnon or AlAnon group to attend. And I don't think I'll let McWeedy keep drugging at home now, either. But that showdown with wife hasn't occurred (yet), and I'm not sure of my gonadal fortitude when it does occur.</div></div>

    I think you stated your boundaries when you said to McWeedy (and by association wife) I can't live like this anymore, I want you gone. I assumed he was officially leaving in January but I guess he'll probably do what he always does and play the wife card for another extension when the time comes.

    What do you see happening if you actually do force him out of the house?
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry Mikey. I know you are in so much pain, cubed by your wife's refusal &/or inability to be the responsible aprent your son needs.

    I had to tbe the one to kick my son out. He was NOT near 18. And I had to get the sheriff to come and get him. husband was happy to let me do what I needed. He had pulled back emotionally from our son a long time before that. He just truly did not understand our son.

    I am not sure what your son wants, butI know that your other children need to be safe.

    Is wife willing to sacrifice your other children to McWeedy's addictions? IF, by any way shape or form, it will help her, PM me and I can explain how abusive and terrifying McWeedy is to Dancer. I was Dancer, but my parents and bro fought all the time. Dad and bro mostly, but mom too. I worked really hard to deal iwth my problems stemming from my bros adolescent (and later) alcoholism. I am a 38 yo mom now. My osn did not have a substance abuse problem, but was incredibly violent all the same. And I know what it has done to our daughter.

    I will pray for you. I hope that maybe with counselling (with Dancer as the excuse possibly?) you and wife can reach a better and stronger relationship.


  17. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Mikey - I'm so sorry it's come to this, but I honestly am not surprised.

    Is there any way you can totally wash your hands of it until December? Yes, go to the meetings FOR YOU, talk to the professionals FOR YOU, but other than that, no interaction with your son, or as little as possible. When wife is worried about your son not being home, is it possible for you to totally disengage from the conversation? No calling McWeedy. No going and looking for him. If wife wants to, she can, but you totally ignore the entire situation.

    I know this isn't going to help you and wife, but honestly, I don't see anything helping that situation until McWeedy is OUT of the situation. Perhaps once he's out of the house, you and wife can start to work on your marriage.

    I wish there was more I could offer in the way of suggestions, but I just don't see what it could be.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I am sorry for your pain.
    I am sorry for the pain of your family.
    I am sorry for the pain of all our families.

    I try to trust that brighter days are ahead. I do pray for
    that. DDD
  19. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But at least I'm not lying to myself any more. </div></div>

    Not a small step by any means. It's the <span style='font-size: 14pt'> </span> <span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>First Step,</span> and It's <span style='font-size: 17pt'> </span> <span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>HUGE!!!</span>

    :warrior: :flower: :warrior:
    So sorry wife is not in this with you. As a mom I can attest that it is harder on me to let go, turn my back, all those catch-phrases we use in detaching from the terminal teenager.

    With mcWeedy's past health issues, I can only imagine it's that much more difficult for her.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your actions here, Mikey, and I will be praying your wife finds her own way through.

    In the days to come, as you continue on this path, see if you can find some forgiveness for yourself. That has always been a big help to me, if I can find a way to forgive myself for my actions. Understand I did the best I could with what I had at the time, and try to learn better.

    Real glad to see you here again, missed you a lot. Please hang out with us, even if there's no updates. Lend a hand and post to other folks here. Check out the Parent Emeritis forum, and look for standswithcourage. She may remind you of someone....

  20. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Glad to see you back :smile:
    I encourage you to keep your stand. Keep your stand of no drugging in your home or on your property. No matter what. Someone has to be the bad guy. It would be wonderful if everyone was on the same page...that doesn't always happen. Someone has to have a clear head.

    It's terribly hard to be the bad guy. It's hard to detach. It's just darn hard parenting a teen whose drugging.

    You've got to protect Dancer. If not for her teen years, for her years as a young woman.

    difficult child's are quite amazing. Their manipulation skills suit them well. Many are quite capable of surviving much better than we thought.