Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Lost in sadness, Nov 23, 2017.

  1. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    So, my son has officially finished his job last Thursday. I felt so sad, he loved that job, it 'saved' him. However, he couldn't have loved it enough or he would have followed the rules. I took food and an ultimatum at the weekend. The deal was, we pay his rent but he needed to give us his bank card and bank details so that when he gets paid on Friday (tomorrow) we will have control. He initially agreed over the phone but when I saw him face to face he started to manipulate the agreement. Shouting and telling me what the rules were. I told him that was the deal and if he didn't want it then I would leave. he shouted, called me a bad mum etc etc. Back to normal then. He clearly did not want us knowing where all his money goes. You wouldn't need to be a rocket scientist to work it out....
    I told him, no rent paid, meant no home, simple. He agreed. The permission he gave was we can pay a months rent out of his account and the court fine he received last week. Agreed I guess. At one point during his berating of me, I felt myself losing control, the stress, I'm tired. I just wanted him gone, out of my car. I wanted to get away. I found myself screaming and pulling my own hair. Omg, what is happening to me? I found myself shouting telling him I would be better when I was dead or if he just went. He got out and slammed the car door. I was fine. Relieved.
    He apologised.
    That night he applied for a load of jobs. When I got home I immediately went on my iPad to check his messages on messenger to find the app has updated by itself and it now needs the password. I feel lost! I know you will all say its for the best but my anxiety now if out of control! I feel out of control.
    Since then, this week, I can see just by the times he is on messenger that he is up until 3am/4am snd sleeping until 2/3pm in the afternoon. I see him going downhill. I keep calling him to wake him up. Sending him messages. Recruitment agencies are getting in contact and he seems all mixed up about who he should be calling and about what. I just want to slap him!!
    I am so worried the landlord will ask him to leave for disturbing the other housemates (who he doesn't get on with), and then what? Homeless, on the streets, no job. The council won't help this time due to the arrears. I told him lying in bed will make him depressed. I also find myself being conditional about my contact with him and I feel I am being unfair. So when he is doing the right thing, being responsible, polite, working, basically doing what I say, I have contact. Every time he lies in bed, annoys me, doesn't do what he should be doing, I tell him I am done! No wonder he is messed up! It IS my fault!
    Yesterday because he stayed in bed and did not call the agencies back as he promised, I told him I was done. He put "ok, bye"! I am heartbroken!! :(
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel


    Not easy stuff. Enabling does not make things improve. Tou are doing what is best for your son. Our hearts always struggle with our heads.

    Sending energy and hugs.
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello LOS, so sorry for all of your troubles and your need to be here. It is Thanksgiving in the States so CD may be quiet today.
    I had to go back to your first post to get some background. Your son is now 19? ( It would help if you added a signature with your family info).
    It is so hard when our kids grow up in age, but not maturity. 19 is young, here 18 is considered an adult.
    When our d cs are involved with drugs, they just don’t take responsibility. They still want to call their own shots and we as parents get stuck in this limbo of trying our darndest to help, to get them motivated.
    It’s like trying to guide a stubborn donkey.
    Your son is taking advantage of your kindness and generosity. I know, because it happened to me over and again. He wants to do what he wants to do with no consequences. He thinks Mum will continue to rescue him.
    No matter what.
    What I learned is that by helping my d cs and being so fixated on their lives, I took away their consequences for their life choices. They continued on the same downward slide and took us along for the hellish ride.
    If this is your normal, then I don’t blame you for feeling frustrated and tired. I was there. It’s hard. Our d cs lose control and blame us. Sometimes I think it is because they know they are capable. It becomes a crazy game where the more they flounder, the more we help, the more they become defiant and feel entitled. It is a vicious cycle. “I got this Mum, (CRASH) help me! Why are you helping me, I got this!”
    They crash, we burn.
    What the heck is wrong with them?
    Truthfully, how will they learn if we are the ones suffering their consequences? I really think we become more concerned then they do. We are killing our selves with what if’s, and they are wondering where the next party is.
    Wait.......what? The permission he gave you? So, instead of being grateful for your help, he is putting terms. Okay, it’s his money, right? You want to manage his funds so that his rent and fines are paid. People get paid to do this, to manage someone’s personal affairs.
    I know you are afraid if you don’t step in, he will lose his place and be homeless. But, if he is making bad choices, the only way he will learn is by reaping the consequences.

    This is a toxic relationship LOS. No one should be verbally abused, especially a mother. It is unacceptable.
    Well. It sounds so familiar to me. The outbursts, drama, apologies. Life becomes like a yo-yo, up, down, up, down. We get drawn in to a swirly whirly of emotions, knowing we need to step away, but fearful of the outcome for our d cs. It is really a battle. Between us wanting the best for our d cs, and them just wanting to do what they want. But, they don’t want the consequences. They want to be comfortable.
    I think we get so caught up in trying to save them that we don’t see what is really happening.
    I look back and recognize that my efforts to “help” ended up prolonging the ordeal. I was frustrated and anxious, my two just kept doing what they do.
    The thing is, they were never appreciative of our efforts, they expected us to accommodate them. Entitled.

    I am sorry that you feel this way. I remember so many sleepless nights, just not knowing which way to turn.
    You feel out of control, my dear, because you are. We can not control our adult children.
    They will do what they want.
    Realizing this is a first step to learning how to let go.
    It is not your fault, no matter how you react to his choices, they are his choices.
    Stop blaming yourself.
    He is a young man.
    Have you read the article on detachment?
    It is on the PE forum.
    It helped me to realize that I was way too entangled in my twos affairs. Once I was able to step back, I could think a little more clearly and actually relax a bit more.
    Stress and anxiety are horrible beasts that rob us of time and good health.
    You may think, how could I relax when my son is on a downward slide?
    I thought the same.
    It takes time and small steps forward to realize that we truly can’t control what our d cs do.
    One big, big help, was my son, who was 14 at the time my daughter pulled one last huge dramatic exodus from my home. It was horrible, and she dragged my three grands along with her.
    I found my son curled up on my bed, crying.
    It was enough to wake me up and show me I had to make some changes, if not for me, for him.
    Really, I was figuratively on that bed crying, too.
    My involvement with my two was killing my spirit, dragging me down.
    It takes time and effort to learn how to step back, give the kids their wings and let them fly on their own. Yup, they will crash, but they have to understand and live the repercussions of their choices.
    Try to shift your focus away from your son.
    You have a life, you matter.
    Take little steps, one day at a time.
    Do something nice for yourself.
    Keep posting, it helps to sort out your feelings, vent and figure out this puzzle.
    I am sorry for your aching mommas heart. I know how difficult it is.
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  4. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    How I wish I had found this forum sooner. So much sage advice. Leafy your post made me cry. thank you for sharing.
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  5. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    Leafy, your post made me cry too! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your time, kindness and wise words for such an informative, heartfelt post. I am truly grateful! It HAS given me strength...maybe even a nights sleeps worth!! Gosh, that would be wonderful!
    I am sorry you have been through so much anguish too, I wish I could meet everyone and have a group hug!

    I will reply in more detail.
    I am sorry to everyone for posting who may be enjoying Thanksgiving today... although I feel sure, for some, it may have been a difficult day!! I am thinking on you all, truly, deeply. Much love from the UK!! Xxx
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  6. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    A group hug would be powerful wouldn’t it?
    We have all been in our own individual battles with these terrible issues with our d cs.

    It can be a very lonely thing.

    We are not alone.

    I don’t know too many people in my daily life, who face this.
    It is sad to see so many others posting here with similar challenges.
    I am sorry for your need to be here, LOS, and everyone else reading along and posting, but glad that we all have this place to share our hearts.
    It is a hard journey we are all on. Each at different places on the trail.
    It is a help to write to one another and share stories and suggestions.

    To know that we are not alone in our unique struggles.

    I am working at fending off the anxiety of it LOS.

    Calming myself, even though my two are out there, making the same horrible choices.

    It’s not that I do not care, I realize I have no control over what they choose.

    When hubs and I allowed them to come home, it was the same old same old.
    I was in the thick of it for a long time.
    Stuck in the swamp right along with my two.
    I call it the swirly whirly.
    It was eating me up inside.

    There was nothing I could do.

    My two are adults and they will do what they want.

    It was like living on a runaway train.

    Anxiety off the charts that I just couldn’t push away any longer.
    The mistreatment was horrible.
    Blaming me for everything.
    I went through the tapes of their upbringing and picked apart times when I slipped up and could have been a better mom.
    "I am like this because of YOU, MOM!"
    Sting, slap, ouch.
    I fell deep in to the guilt trap.

    Geez, we are only human.
    We do the best job we can, with what we have at the time.

    Our d cs instinctively know our weaknesses and will target them to get us to do what they want.
    Smack dab in the center of them.
    Comes the arrow, straight to the wound.
    We bleed and give in,
    they be like "Cool, I got what I want."
    We are dazed and confused, broken.
    They are cunning and manipulative.
    They know how to push the right buttons to keep us in such a tizzy, we don’t know which way to turn.
    They tug and tug at our heartstrings.
    It is a no wonder we become so wound up and frazzled.
    Exhausted, short of breath, palpitations.
    This is where they want us to be.
    We can’t make good decisions in this state.

    It works for them.

    That’s really sad isn’t it?
    Sucking the life right out of us.

    This is the addicts way

    It hurts, because these are our kids.

    We want the best for them, but they have got to want it for themselves.
    Unfortunately for my two, right now, their choice is drugs.
    It doesn’t mean I have given up on them.
    I pray daily that they find their true potential.
    I have given in to the notion that I have to help them.
    I am not the one.
    I am too close to them.
    They view me as a rug.
    I am not a rug to be tread upon and muddied.
    There are resources out there,
    if they choose to come out of their drug hazed world and seek their potential.
    I think that when they are truly ready to do this, they will not seek help from me.

    When Tornado came to me after I had figured this out and whispered in my ear that she needed to come home............. my husband had just passed.

    I was grieving and lost.

    I found the strength to tell her that my home was not the place for her to get help, that it hadn't worked before, that she needed to go to a shelter.

    The words echoed in my head, "shelter, shelter, shelter."
    I felt small.
    She had a devastated look on her face.

    That was not an easy thing to do.

    It was true.

    It felt empty for a bit, even cold.
    "What a biotch!" one of my head voices said.

    Okay guys, we all have little voices in our heads..........don't we?

    Ahem, well Eckhart Tolle says we do........... anyways...............

    I was so conditioned to think that I had to "help" her.

    But my stepping in was not helping.
    She just wanted to continue as is.
    Since, she has appeared here and there, coming over for a bit,
    but what I see is that she is continuing on the same downward slide.

    Drugging and partying. Not caring for herself, or her kids.

    "When people show you who they are, believe them."
    Maya Angelou.

    She will make comments that I have "only two daughters", that I have written her and her older sister off.
    Not true.
    I just know that I am not the one to help them.

    They take advantage of me.

    Berate me, like your son.
    If it is not verbal abuse, they abuse the sanctity of my home.
    Like it is a pit stop.
    A motel.
    A vacation.
    A store to shop for things and not pay for them.

    Uh, no.

    Now, the more they push, the more it strengthens my reserve.
    Okay, I fall back a bit and lament.
    Then I have to pick myself up and dust off the old ways.

    I think it was Cedar who touched upon the idea that by continually stepping in to "rescue" our adult d cs, we really make beggars out of them.

    Take away their capabilities to figure their own lives out, their responsibilities.

    She was getting at their unreasonable, illogical mistreatment of us.

    The saying goes "Bite the hand that feeds you."

    I think it is true, that they end up resenting us, for what we try to do for them.
    Because deep inside, they know they are capable.

    We clip their wings, when they are meant to fly on their own.
    We will not be on this earth forever, to be there when the bottom drops out.
    They have got to learn how to "fly".

    When I put it in this perspective, it is easier to say no.
    Love says no.
    We did it a thousand times when they were toddlers.
    Addicts are like toddlers.
    Blaming everyone else for their choices, rejecting consequences and just wanting what they want.
    Throwing tantrums in adult bodies.
    Making everyone around them, even themselves, miserable.

    It is about setting boundaries, for them and ourselves.
    We have conditioned ourselves to respond a certain way.
    It becomes habit.

    They know this.

    So, we have to slowly change our habits and recondition ourselves to respond differently.

    When this happens, things change for us.

    That is the only thing we have some control over, what we do.
    How we react, how we act, how we move forward.

    It is a lot of relearning, it doesn't happen instantly.

    It is possible to remove yourself from the nightmare of it.

    One day at a time.

    Learn to love yourself.

    It is not selfish to find time to care for yourself.

    It is imperative to your well being.

    We moms are conditioned to give of ourselves, from the moment we learn we are pregnant, or adopt a child.
    We arrange our lives around our children.

    Being a mother is lifelong, but it is not a lifelong JOB.

    Part of parenting, is understanding that there is a certain point where we have done our job, and the kids need to learn to be self sustainable.
    Oh, sure, we are there if they need us.

    But, a determining factor to how much time and help we give, is if there is respect and appreciation.

    If that is missing, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and our d cs.

    We are not teaching them.
    We are enabling them to treat us poorly.
    That is unacceptable.
    These are our kids, grown up, adults, and they disrespect us?


    In the course of my twos trials and tribulations with drugs (which became ours, too), in and out the revolving door of our home, their fathers health deteriorated.

    This did not stop them.

    In fact, they took advantage even more.
    Hubs was raised in hardship, his father addicted and abusive to his children and wife.
    All my husband wanted was for his kids to live a better life than what he had.
    It was more than he could bear to see his two, and his grands living the way they did.

    This did not stop them.

    In fact, they dug in even more, triangulating and manipulating him, because I was done.
    So, I became "the bad guy."

    He wound up in the hospital and nearly died, twice.

    This did not stop them.

    He ended up in the hospital again, this time worse off.

    This did not stop them.

    He passed.

    This did not stop them.

    My grief did not stop them.

    When we spread his ashes, Tornado and Volcano invited their friends to my home (unbeknownst to me), partied and ended up in a domestic, Volcano attacking my daughter.
    We had to call the police.

    This did not stop them.

    They will do what they want.

    Death was not a deterrent.

    How crazy and despicable is that?

    Yet, these are my children.

    What is there left for me to do?

    How much do I need to be shown that I have no control over their choices?

    Lessons, hard learned.

    I share this with you, and anyone reading, to help others see that an adult child using drugs is capable of treading upon anyone close to them and using them up to death.

    I am writing to remind myself to stay the course.

    In their drugknapped state, they don't see this.

    Someone, has to see it and pull out.
    Someone has to say, no more.

    I will not take this anymore.

    It is not that I don't love them, I do. I just wont allow them to continue to rob me of my life.
    Rob my home of peace, rob me of my peace and the joy of life.

    If I allow that to happen, I have succumbed to the horror of addiction, as much as they have.

    There is no easy way to step back and view what is happening with a logical mind,
    rather than our bleeding hearts.

    It takes work, and belief that you matter.
    We matter.
    It takes reading and writing out your feelings and getting to the crux of the issue.
    Slowly building your toolbox.
    Finding mentors, in others who have been through similar journeys, or even looking at those who have come through trials in life, maintained and built up joy.
    Viktor Frankl, Anne Frank, Maya Angelou.

    When we are weakened, we can borrow strength from others.

    One simple thing to keep in mind is the only thing you have control of, is yourself.

    So, LOS and anyone else reading along.
    You do not have to go through the loss of your mate, or a loved one, to open up your eyes to what is happening.
    To you.

    You don't have to go down with your d cs choices.

    You can rise above, pull back and understand that the best way to teach our adult d cs, is to take very good care of yourself.

    They are captains of their own ship.
    We are captains of our own ship.
    If they chart a course of bad choices, we do not have to follow along.

    No amount of pulling our own hair, feeling desperate and lost, will help them.
    Begging, nagging and beseeching them to change.
    It ends up killing us.
    What good can come of that?

    They are worth much much more than the terrible choices they are making.
    This, we can all agree on.

    We love them.

    I have come to the conclusion that the best way to help my two, is to model behaviors for them that I wish to see in them.

    I wish to see them take care of themselves.
    I will take care of myself.
    I wish them joy.
    I will find joy.
    I wish them peace.
    I will find peace.

    I cannot do this for them.
    They have to decide.

    Until then, I will value my life and my worth.
    I have to work at this.

    It is not that I am so strong.
    I am not.

    I count my blessings and am thankful for the life I have.

    I am worth much, much more than the terrible choices they are making.

    And so are you guys.

    and peace in this holiday season.

  8. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    Thank you for another wonderful post Leafy. I am so sorry for the anguish your DCs have caused you. But I do believe you have turned the corner and are seeing the light. None of us have any control over our DCs and no amount of love will get them to change. So we must get out of their way, protect our boundaries and our hearts, and be kind to ourselves. They will continue whatever journey they choose. Its not for us to choose it for them. love and hugs!
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  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much Wisernow. You are right.
    Yes, be kind to ourselves. We are worth it.
    (((Hugs))) and love,
  10. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Oh Leafy
    This post is a true ode to the parents of drug addicts. It cuts to be quick of the matter so emotionally and with such grammatic precision. I felt you creeping in my head whine dwelling in your own.

    We do survive. I am still not certain how. but we do.
    I agree that psotinfbin this forum is highly therpuric.
    I am grateful for this site.
  11. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    Thank you New leaf for such a wonderful post. So personal, painful but yet freeing in the same way. Some days are much easier. Sunday nights and Mondays are always the worst, and worse yet is the time of year and the cold. I worry so much about the cold.

    We stuck to our bargain, we paid his rent ourselves with the agreement we would pay ourselves back when he got his pay, as well as sorting the court fine and paying a months worth of rent. When I returned his washing and ironing, I hid his bank card in his shed so I could tell him where it was once everything was paid. I went to log on and he has changed the password!! I feel angry, hurt. It just doesn't make any sense. Why would he do this? We had an agreement. It was a fair one. He wins.
    I just want to slap him and pretend he doesn't exist. I feel hatred for him but yet love him, all mixed up in one mess of emotion. I have no idea where go from here. :(
  12. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Los,
    Oh boy, that’s disappointing to have agreements go sour. It’s been a rough weekend for you.
    I am in Hawaii, it does get chilly and rainy here. I would definitely have a harder time if we lived where the cold is a factor. Are there shelters where you live? We have them here, but my daughters always say they are filthy. I think it is because they don’t want to follow the rules.
    Goodness Los, you have been most generous. I couldn’t afford to do any of that. My boy is 16. I have him doing his laundry. Your son is taking you for granted.
    He doesn’t want you to see his account. Our d cs want their cake and eat it too (US expression).
    He wins. He does. He knows how you feel, that you don’t want him in the cold. He has his fines and rent paid. Not a worry for him. Ouch. Los. Just ouch. I am sorry for the hurt of it.
    My girls would do the same. They don’t want to change, so I had to. It was hurting me to be so caught up in their comings and goings.
    I understand feeling this way. It’s like quicksand. Stuck and sinking, slowly sinking in the muck of it.
    For them it’s just another day.
    When we help too much, they don’t feel consequences of their actions.
    The hard part is that we conjure up all sorts of imagery of what would or could happen if we let go.
    They don’t think about that stuff.
    The what if’s.
    They are too busy partying, looking for the next high.
    That’s the focus.
    Meantime, we are worrying, guts churning, trying everything to keep them from crashing.
    But they already have crashed.
    We keep rescuing, and they don’t use that effort to change, they use it to stay the same.
    You will figure out what you need to do Los.
    I would be angry too.
    Geez, he’s got it made, everything is paid for and he has laundry service.
    You are making it way too easy for him.
    Stepping back doesn’t mean you coldly drop him from your life.
    Let him do stuff for himself. He needs to figure it out too.
    Take care of you.
    Shift your focus.
    One small step at a time.
    Keep posting, others will come along with advice and share their stories.
    We are not experts here, just folks who have been through similar challenges. Take what advice works for you. No judgement here, we all have to go at our own pace.
    Breathe Los, you are going to be okay. You will figure out a solution that works best for you. The answers don’t come all at once.
    It is a process.
    Start by being kind to yourself.
    You matter.
  13. RN0441

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


    You could just start your own advice forum!!

    OMG everything you write is so very very helpful. It is like nourishment to my soul!!

    I cut and past and put into a doctor so I can read when I need to without having to search.

    I have nothing more to offer in the way of advice than what you have already said perfectly!!
  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am blushing. Geez RN, you are too kind. It is helpful for me to write. Keeps me from going down that road again (I hope). You guys are all incredible, gifted, amazing people. It is a sad fact in all of our lives that our d cs struggle so. RN, you have written many posts that inspire me. We are all on the same team. The goal is, to learn how to let go and nourish ourselves with the same intensity we hung on to our d cs.
    We can't properly love anyone, if we don't love ourselves.
    One step at a time, we will get there.
    And happy Friday!