Active Member
I first found these boards a year ago, as I was visiting my sister for Xmas and discovered our son was not only using drugs, which we had been dealing with for 2/3 years at that point, but dealing. It was probably the lowest point of my entire life. I felt like a failure as a parent, I was devestated.

Fast forward a year... it's been bumpy but basically it's been slowly getting better. Older son moved out in April, and it appears he has been getting better. He claims he no longer uses any hard drugs. We believe him, but there are times I wonder of course. My sister is here for Xmas and says she sees a big difference in him, colour, eyes..etc... so hopefully he is clean.

My father is also here for Xmas. I do not have a good relationship with him due to many reasons, but we always welcome him into our home and try to be kind. He lives in Virginia near my sister (we live in Canada) and he came up here with her family. His entire family lives here including his elderly parents, my grandparents. Well... he is not rational, due to his heavy use of prescription narcotics for chronic back pain, and can be very argumentative and difficult. Christmas Eve he starts in on criticism of other family members, his sister who takes care of his parents. I couldn't keep my mouth shut. I usually do, I never say anything, but it was getting bad. Even my Saint of a sister was telling him to basically shut up. Well my poor husband (whose own father is dying ) lost it and told him to get out of our house. It was horrible. My young nieces were crying, my older son was very upset, and ended up leaving to go back to his apt.

I know my father is not well, he is an addict himself. He gets very angry when you try to call him on it , insisting his doctors are on board.

I'm just so tired, and sad. What was supposed to be such a wonderful time, with my sister here and her kids, and seeing all the cousins and grandparents, has turned into such a nightmare. My older son was here at the house playing with his little cousins, and now he is feeling anxious and angry.

My poor husband is going to go spend the day with his mom and dad at their home( they gave his dad a day pass) since he can't stand being around my father. In my husbands defence he has dealt with my dad's crap for 25 years and is just at his limit. I'm worried older son will not want to be around either.

I'm so sick of drugs and what they do to families. I hate all the upset and drama.

I was so excited for this Xmas and really looked forward to it.

My mother flies in today, and we are not sure how that will go. She left my dad 25 years ago, and is not mean to him at all, in fact she is very kind, but he can be such an ass to her . I don't blame her for leaving... he really is miserable. If I could divorce him I think I would have long ago.

Just wish Xmas didn't bring out the worst in some people.

My husband is now feeling terrible he lost it, and broke down apologizing to our nieces for upsetting them, and seeing him yell at my father. I am worried for him. He has been such a rock through all our drama with son. And now his father is so sick, -and he has so much stress. He told me this fall he has been depressed, and he has never been depressed his entire life.

I'm actually doing pretty well, not on any anti depressant at all for first time in years.

Trying to keep it together for my sons and my sisters kids, but so upset.

Just thought I would check in....


Well-Known Member
Up and down, it seems.
Older son moved out in April, and it appears he has been getting better.
I am so happy for him and for you. How was it for you when he moved out? How is your younger son doing? Are they both still in college?

Colleen, despite the stress and pain you sound good. Grounded. Accepting. Strong. Do you feel it? How could you not feel a little sad and worn out tonight?

I am glad your mother is coming. Your Dad? What can be said? I am sorry.
He told me this fall he has been depressed, and he has never been depressed his entire life.
I am so sorry for your husband. He will be OK. The dying of a parent changes everything. I think it is harder for the same sex parent. For me, the death of my mother was cataclysmic. I am still not recovered, after over 3 years. She was already old. I was already old. But it is still hard.

I am glad you checked in. Tomorrow will be better. Take care.


Well-Known Member
Oh Colleen, what a difficult dynamic going on. Your husband is dealing with a very ill father himself and it is no wonder he lost it with yours. I don't blame him for wanting him out of the house and I know you don't blame him either. I spent many many years of walking on eggshells over the holidays because of my own father's dysfunction which leaked out onto everyone. He passed away a year ago this past October so this is the second Christmas he is not with us. This may sound awful but it has been very peaceful. I can finally celebrate with the people that love and respect each other. While I will always wish things had been different with him I now vowed to make every Christmas from here on out special to those I love.

How was the visit with your mom? I hope it was a good one and makes up a little for what happened with your dad. You can't change your dad.

I'm glad things with your older son are better. Our daughter is much better also. Being on their own I think matures them. I'm thrilled your son has found someone he is interested in. You are so right, that can make the difference. Our daughter left her boyfriend last January and that was a good move for her. I didn't think she would ever leave because she fell in love with his 7 year old daughter, but she finally realized he was not good for her. We have to trust our kids will mature and do the right thing.



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

Not the Norman Rockwell holiday that we all hoped for. I so get it. I'm so glad you are standing by your husband. We all have our limits and we are all human and we can all only take so much before WE boil over too! I think he saw YOU upset and that may be why he lost it. Your dad needed to be put in his place.

I have some bad bad memories of holidays too. Somehow we get through it and move on. So glad older son is doing better. That is a plus.

We were with our Difficult Child on Christmas in Florida and found he is using marijuana (UGH). Hate everything about that. But we cannot control him but hope he figures out how to support himself while we are assisting with his rent right now - won't be forever. I was determined not to let that ruin my holidays.

Sending hugs, prayers and strength to you!


Active Member
So the holidays are over... I survived my fathers visit, and even managed to have a good remainder of the week. I basically avoided my father. My son never did see him again that week.

I am struggling this week however. Spent time the last two days with oldest son. Yesterday he seemed fine, even told me he is considering therapy, something he has never willingly agreeded to before. But then today (it's four am) so really yesterday... we went to visit some family together and he was very distracted and seemed down.

I am so percoeptive to his moods that I've not slept all night, and skipped my book club, not being able to face friends tonight.

I am playing the "what if" tapes in my head again, reliving the past five years and all the choices he made as well as the ones I made. I'm sure some of you know this game well...

I don't know how to deal with my feelings of regret, of dossapointment, of sadness and anxiety about his future.

Every text or phone call he makes I picture a drug deal, or worse. I feel like I have something like PTSD from this whole thing, and that I will never really be ok. I still feel so sad , even though I'm not in anti depressants this winter for th me first time in a long time, -and I really don't want to go on them again.

I know I'm rambling.... I know I need therapy, and probably medications again.... but I'm feeling stuck and almost paralyzed.


Well-Known Member
Hon, be good to yourself. Time to take care of you. Force yourself to make that therapy appointment. You need someone to talk to who has the training to help you cope with this. Trying to cope yourself is not helping you. Take it up a level.

Secondly I highly recommend AlAnon, in person or on line, for real time peer support.

Please don't forget about yourself. Your son sounds manipulative and dangerous. He probably should never live with you again. He needs to figure out how to do life on his own. Or not. It's up to him. You making yourself sick with worry doesn't help him one iota.

Much warmth.
Last edited:


Active Member
I do agree I need support, and I will look into therapy for me. The hard part is that I am a counsellor myself, and this is a small town....so I know many of them personally. Makes it rough to establish a trust.

My son is not dangerous, although he has been manipulative for sure. Especially when using hard drugs. Since he has come off the hard drug use, we have seen more of our "real son". He spent lots of time with his young cousins this Christmas, and was wonderful with them. He has a real gift with children, and I hope he can someday work with them. He worked for a year as a teacher's aid, and he was so good with the behaviour kids, they hired him as a behaviour mentor with a group of four brothers who were very difficult. He says that is the only time in the last five years he was truely sober, and felt good about himself.

He says his focus is on getting healthy right now, and he seems sincere. He is actually such a gentle and caring soul, and I sometimes think the world has him beat down. Maybe you see it as me making excuses, but I really don't. He has always had empathy, from a very young age, and worried about others all the time. I think his drug use came from trying to numb his feelings, as they have always been intense.

I think I have struggled with anxiety/depression myself since I was young...having had clinical depression in my 20s during my parents ugly divorce. I also had bouts in early mothering. I have been better this winter than any other one, but it is still always there...lingering. I am off this week, and to be honest, being alone is not so good for me. I will be better once I"m back to work, and busy with my students. I find peace with working with kids, and find great personal satisfaction in my job. I am one of the lucky ones I guess.

I think I am just so perceptive, that when my son is sad, I feel it. Now that he doesn't live here, it is much better. Last night is the first night in a long time I was up all night, and crying. That used to be my normal last year.

I think baby steps....and today's will be finding a counsellor....


Hugs Colleen....I have been very perceptive also...and yes, we all suffer from ptsd.

I'm trying in 2017 to not be so wrapped up in his future of, who knows, but want to work on my future, my other children need guiding...I feel sometimes I'm running a race I don't remember entering?

I don't want to be so sad thus year....I'm going to try...I want to go back to work for me...

Hugs....one day at a time...he seems to be doing the best he can...hopefully he will follow up on his help network too.


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

This is all such a long process and I just want it all to go away too and for my son to be "normal". I'm also so glad my son is not living in our home and that he is far away. We just have so many bad memories. I know that I have PTSD from all of it; my therapist confirmed it. I'm sure many of us do. How could we not?

I think that seeing a therapist is best for you. I began seeing mine weekly in June after my son overdosed. I just could not process it on my own. I then went down to twice per month after about 5 months and now I'm seeing her once per month. You cannot worry about being in a small town etc. Don't let that stop you. You will know right away if you feel you can trust that person. If not, you wouldn't want to see that person anyway.

I am the type of person that is constantly looking for answers. I research, research, research everything. Talk to people constantly about things. I am constantly seeking more knowledge. In the part of my life with my son and trying to understand the "why's" of what has happened to him and our family there just weren't any answers. Even the professionals that he saw seemed so off base. So many were so young and they were textbook and none of this happening in our life was textbook. They had not lived it. They had no clue. It has all been so very very frustrating.

Working through this with my therapist has helped me so much. I still suffer and worry but it is more manageable now. I think sometimes seeing a therapist is admitting that there really is a "problem" and that is hard for some people. But as she told me that it takes great strength to face your fears and work through them and I do believe that to be true.

We're here for you. Everything will work out.


Active Member
I did reach out to our district counselor today. He is a good person, and I have even taken classes from him during my degree, so I think I can trust him. He was even sons guidance counselor in high school way back....

Tonight I found his banking open on our computer as he was here yesterday. I know I shouldn't have looked, but I did. And yup... I saw money transfers.

I did confront him. Why pretend? He claims he has loaned them cash because he lives downtown. Huh? Makes no sense right? I told him I don't believe him. He works for a guy who
Owns a garage and he sands down cars, etc...the guy pays him in cash.

So theoretically he could be telling the truth???? I honestly think that he may be selling weed. He doesn't think weed is a big deal, and being in CAnada it is going to be legal soon, so he feels it's not that bad.

He knows I do not agree. Right now it's illegal and it's wrong. Period.

I don't even know if it was worth the argument . We had been getting along really well. I've been focusing on the ideas in CRAFT which is more positive based, and it was working in helping our relationship. But when I saw the e transfers....my heart just broke.... again!

I have not told my husband, as his father is very ill, and both our sons have told us they aren't going back to university this term. I think I am almost ok with it. It's a waste of money if they don't want it. Younger son at least has a plan, applied to forestry school, and is working and paying his bills.

Older son claims he wants to concentrate on his health.... ugh... I have been hearing that for a few years now.

Do I tell my husband my suspicions? I have never kept anything from him. But I feel he is so stressed right now. And honestly I don't have proof, even if I did ... what would I do???

I feel so alone. And sad.


I'm so sorry Colleen. What would those facts do for your husband? What do they do for you...there is a reason y o ur son does notice at home.

Sometimes I think that a positive relationship may be more important now...you didn't intend to snoop, he didn't hide it! The weed issue is infuriating...but let's face it, it's not going away.

Sometimes you have to make decisions that is better for all instead of one. Focus on strengthening you....



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

I don't know if I'd even say anything to your husband because you don't even know what you saw. And husband is under enough stress already right?

My son doesn't think weed is a big deal either. What can we do? Nothing.


Active Member
I haven't said anything.

I don't know how much more my husband can take actually. He did agree to couples counselling. I need to call to make the appointment. I've made an appointment with the district counselor for this month.

I went out to lunch today with a young teacher I have mentored . She was so excited to tell me she is preganant. I am a good actress because I pretended to be happy for her. All I could think was that I don't know if I would have kids again. Is that terrible???

I do love both my boys but I have never had my heart broken so badly. I don't wish this pain on anyone.

I do feel better having gotten out and forcing myself to socialize.

Son texted me today like yesterday didn't happen. I went to pick up his used books so I could sell them back to the bookstore. I paid 400 plus and got 117 for them.... ugh!

Good news with them both not going back I guess is that I won't be buying more books this term :(

Thanks for the replies ladies... I do appreciate the support


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

Like others have said here, they move on to other things quickly. You're stressing over the fight and feeling badly that had to happen but he's not stressing over it.

Books are a complete rip off when you sell them back. You are right.

Focus on the positive. So good that you are both going to therapy. It will help a lot just to get things off your chest. That is such a positive move!!