Waiting is the hardest part


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Haven't updated in some time and feeling blue today so here goes.

Son has been sharing an apartment in Boca Raton with a middle aged woman for 2 months. He found the place on his own but we helped him financially after being homeless for about 2 weeks (but sneaking in girlfriend house to sleep) with no money from us WHEN he got a job at Publix. The job fell through due to a warrant here for him for fighting via text with ex girlfriend. He threatened her but said to me that she knew he didn't mean it blah blah and he has never been violent and didn't think it was illegal. This happened early last year and he had been drinking.

Plan was for son to take some college classes in January also and pay us a portion of his rent each month and pay for his food and gas with new job. He gets some meals at work depending on hours worked.

He has been sober and doing everything right and even found a job delivering sandwiches at a local place that he likes.....until last week.

I had completely cut off all contact with him (blocked him on phone and social media) due to me just needing a mental break from him until about a month ago when he reached out by email because he missed our relationship. I cautiously let him back in. Husband and oldest son had a nice time with Difficult Child and girlfriend when they stayed at our condo which is about 2 hours from where son lives when he went in late October. It seemed like maybe the worst was behind us.

Last week he asked me if he could get prescription sunglasses and I thought it was a good idea since he is in Florida and drives a lot and he was due for frames. It was to be his Christmas present. I planned to get him a few other small things too.

I talked to him several times in one day and his voice sounded sluggish. Felt something wasn't right. He denied it. Son is very sharp and he just wasn't himself. That evening I even said to husband let's do a FaceTime with him because of my suspicions. That night we did and son looked like he may have been drinking a bit (his problem mainly pills). But since he is over 21 and he had worked 4 days in a row husband said to let it be and see what happens. Not like we could do anything from 1300 miles away anyway.

The next night I received a text from his girlfriend saying that she was worried about him. Her mother had just died a few days earlier after a long battle with a liver disease and she had gone to his place and he was out of it on bed with candy wrappers all over. I called her immediately and talked to son and he said he was "just tired". I gave him a piece of my mind assuming pills were involved and he denied and hung up on me. girlfriend tried to back peddle via text saying that she jumped the gun, he was just overtired etc. I knew better. She just confirmed my suspicions.

Husband talked to son later that day and told him that he had let us down and that he was going to end up homeless like before and that we would not be seeing him for Thanksgiving as planned. Funny but I had told him the same thing during our phone call. I haven't seen him since April and was looking forward to it but if there is even the slightest indication that there is a problem, forget it.

Son has been working since that episode and denies that it was "anything". We both feel that he did take something but we are taking our vacation in Florida as planned although we have told him that we cancelled our trip. I have again blocked my son from having any contact with me.

He does not go to NA meetings or a therapist. We have found we cannot force the issue. For now we are leaving things as they are. We both have some guilt that we will not see him but feel that he needs to know that if he does not stay sober we will not be a part of his life. My therapist also felt that we are doing the right thing by not seeing him. It is very hard on me. Most times I am strong and able to handle it all but today I feel like I have a big whole inside. Our trip to Florida was originally planned so we could spend the holiday with him. I know that HE did this but it doesn't help me not feel terribly sad. We are going back for Christmas and may see him then but I just don't know.

Like most of us, we feel tough love is good but we always worry if the drugs will end their life and then we have regrets for not spending some time with them if we are able.


Hugs for your sad heart...your never alone..but it hurts none the less.

Your doing what you know is right...


Well-Known Member
I am sorry for the poor young girl who just lost her mother....condolences. I hope she has other family she can count on.

Sorry, RNO....this stuff is hard.


Active Member
RN, up and down it goes. I am very sorry to hear this. It is heartbreaking to hear how you slowly begin to trust in communicating with him and then another "bump in the road". I get so hopeful when my son is happy and doing well. I feel the weight of the world is off my shoulders and I can begin to feel good again. And then in swoops a day of bad choices and darkness and I feel scared and awful. Hugs and prayers for you today and also for your son.


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You made a mistake I made at first but learned was not good for me.

Two possibly good months (because you don't know how good they really were) is not enough time to get excited. By the time my daughter really quit, it took us over a year to trust her, and that was only after she had been a manager at work, was checking out college on her own, did not ask us or in I receive a dime from us and was in contact every day.
The lack of drama was telling. And nice.

She did not go out and get drunk for any reason. She walked to work and had no car. I thought your son was not driving?

in my opinion he is not on that good road yet. He is lying and drinking, which most people may be able to do for relaxation, but he can't or it will trigger alcoholism or/and other drug abuse. He is not sober. He in my opinion should not be still living off of you. He shouldn't want to at his age. He is not acting like he is sober and independent or plans to be.

Your husband in my opinion needs to understand
your son can not drink and do well. Not at all. Ever. And your son must accept this too. Many sober alcoholics never touch alcohol. Your son needs to join them or stay sick.

Having a car is dangerous to Son and anyone in his path if he is drunk or high...and when he drives I guess he is often impaired. I didn't think my daughter drove impaired but three bad accidents later, one in which she was sued, told the truth.

By then she was only driving friends cars as we had stopped letting her drive ours or paying for her to do so. Thank God. She ended up owing $14,000 and kept up payments for years until finally ex paid it off
This was several years of her being sober.

Back to your son. Sorry but college is for hard workers. Your son is in NO state to go to college. He needs to heal first. Any money you spend on college will be wasted. He is showing no signs of ambition. He barely has a job. He doesn't work anywhere he can support himself. Will he truly hit the books?

Sorry for my negative tone. I don't want you to be sad. But I don't want you to be fooled like we were either. It is devastating to think it's better and then to find out it's not. I have been there. I don't wish it on anyone.

When he truly wants to quit, you will see such a huge change in everything about your son that you will wonder if its really him. His attitude, his friends, his empathy will change. He will want to grow up without your monetary support. He may even find God. He will be much calmer and saner.

in my opinion Son needs to face his warrant. That's part of taking responsibility for himself. It will hang over his head if he tries to hide from it.

Big hugs. Hope this didn't come off as sharp or critical. It was not written for that purpose.
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

Son is driving and that is what he does for work; delivers subs. I never thought he was 100% good or 100% done with all of it. Husband more optimistic than me. Husband doesn't do well with labels that are used. That's him. I'm letting him deal with it and he wants to. I cannot get in the middle of these stubborn Germans. He has always been a binge user. Not every day. More sober than not. Not justifying just this is what it is. Therapist has seen this behavior before also.

Things are better than they were. I am not in control nor do I want to be.


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Staff member
RN, I'm reading along and I'm sorry for the up and down of all of it.....it seems to be the nature of this beast we all know so well. I hope it helped a tad for you to write it down, that always helps me.

When it was really bad for me I put my daughter in the hands of my perception of a higher power.....and then I got busy taking care of ME.......sometimes that was harder than other times......

we feel tough love is good but we always worry if the drugs will end their life and then we have regrets for not spending some time with them if we are able.

Sigh, I can so relate to that, not in terms of drugs but just the lifestyle my daughter has lived.......

......this is a tough path RN.......you're doing the best you can, which is all we can ask of ourselves..........

Hang in there, we're here with you.......sending you a big hug......


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One more thing.

This always puzzled about many parents here.

If you are afraid drugs will end his life, are you not even triple afraid that a car accident on drugs could do that more quickly? Or kill somebody else so he will feel guilt forever?

My opinion is that it is a dangerous for for Son to drive for a living. But, hey, this is all in my opinion. I'm glad you aren't the one in charge, although I feel your husband is in serious denial.

Binge drinking is a form of how alcoholism manifests in some alcoholics. Label or not, it is sadly a description of many. I'm so very sorry. At least your son isn't in your house!
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
We were happy he wanted to live with lady our age (or a tad younger than us) because what normal 21 year old that wants to get down and party would do that? I think he knows in his heart he can't do that but this journey he is on is not mine. Prior to that he was going to move into a house with a man our age that also rented to a young couple and had one more room but that young guy didn't have anyplace to go so they let him stay another month so that fell through for son but this set up is better. Man told us son said he just wanted someplace peaceful and quiet to live.

Yes I worry all the time but it doesn't help. At this point we're not going to take everything away until we need to.

Posting does help and so does praying!


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I guess my real reason for posting was to find out what everyone thinks of us not seeing him as planned for Thanksgiving. I'm really struggling with it but feel that it sends the message we want to send.

so ready to live

Well-Known Member
Hi RN. I believe you are doing the best you can for all involved. Doing even that, is not easy. The Thanksgiving decision seems reasonable, especially in lieu of his recent actions. Please realize that it's more than ok to protect you.
We both have some guilt that we will not see him but feel that he needs to know that if he does not stay sober we will not be a part of his life.
This is a good boundary. It is simply your rules about what you will or won't tolerate.

Like most of us, we feel tough love is good but we always worry if the drugs will end their life and then we have regrets for not spending some time with them if we are able.
...and the raw truth is that if drugs end their life, we will have regrets anyway. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, because none of this will ever make sense. My sister, who was married to a long-time alcoholic, always says to me "it is what it is". That seemed so glib to me, I didn't want to hear it. NOW I get it, how I can't control it or even start to make sense of it. So...accepting the fact, is all I can do and it must be enough. Riling against it for these many years has not fixed it but it nearly killed me. I do feel a bit guilty that I'm better emotionally but he's not. But I did the work to get here, he has not.
When my head is to about explode, I try to remember I've said "I love you" to him in many ways. He knows, as does your son. We've done all we can...Prayers.


Active Member
RN, on another thread that I posted about my wish that my family could enjoy being together during the upcoming holidays, Leafy (New Leaf) pointed out to me that we all want that Norman Rockwell moment as this season approaches.
Of course you were looking forward to being with your son, and hopeful that he had made some progress in getting his life together. The holiday season brings about feelings of good will and forgiveness that parents naturally want to extend to their children.
It sounds like you are listening to your gut feeling and it is telling you that maybe things are not yet quite right with your son's struggle. Things are better, but maybe not enough for you to get over your memories of past poor behavior. Your son is young and there are many more holidays in store for your family. I'm sorry you are struggling. The holiday season brings out lots of wistful feelings in families that need healing. :staystrong:


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Staff member
I think that you are sending the message that if your son wants to be a part of your family celebrations, he needs to be clean and sober. It doesn't mean that you don't love him but that you have set boundaries about your interactions with him.

I always found the holidays were the hardest. My daughter always seemed to spiral down at the holidays and ruined the holiday for the rest of us. I remember that when we held the intervention and she was gone for Christmas that year, my younger daughter said it was the most peaceful Christmas we had in years. It made me realize that our older daughter was ruining Christmas for her, too.



100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Thank you ladies for confirming my gut feelings of not seeing him for Thanksgiving. It makes us sad naturally but we hope that it makes him realize that we have conditions now that we maybe have never stood firm on before.

I had a session with my therapist last night and she agrees that he needs to FEEL not being with his family for the holiday. I think it's probably harder on me than it is on him as it usually is for moms!

In the meantime we keep the hope that he will turn it around someday soon.

I am so thankful for everyone's support here. This forum and everyone on it means so much to me.

New Leaf

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It has been a long time since I have posted, I am trying to literally and figuratively reinvent myself after hubs passing. It is a whole different existence, really. What it has taught me is how short and fragile life is. I am so sorry for all of our struggles with our beloveds. Going through photo albums and cherished memories, I have wished for the days gone by when life was a bit simpler. If only it were that easy, to turn back the hands of time and change that moment/moments when the kids took that misstep and stumbled on this hellish journey.
Addiction is complicated. Enabling is more so, then even still a puzzlement is knowing where to draw the line. How do we send the message that we love our children so much, yet cannot tolerate their chosen lifestyle? I am still trying to figure it out. Going between self protect, to acceptance, or is it a sort of novacaine on the soul? Numbing that intense motherly love from the sting of reality and immense heartbreaking, gut wrenching knowledge that my two are struggling with these lifestyle choices that causes them so much difficulty and much grieving for their family? Do I accept that? Really and truly shouting from the rooftops.....NOooooooooooo! But, I do understand that I have my limitations. And yet..........
Are we all in some sort of macabre play? An alter-reality? The sheer energy it takes to just deal with all of this, and carry on working, taking care of daily necessities is mind blowing.
Then, throw in holidays. Huh. What a mess.
I have been dealing with this stuff a long, long time. It took this site, many months of posting, losing my mate and months of dealing with that to come to this point. "You do you Leafy." I can accept who I am with all of my faults and try the best I can to do better. To self nurture and sustain myself so that I can function.....to take baby steps towards even yes........finding joy.
RN, you are a wonderful, kind loving person. Your son has that gawd awful gene or whatever it is that makes him an addict. Addiction sucks. It sucks the life out of everything and everyone in its path, if we let it.
I am nowhere near cured, of my rollercoasterism, it is just not as extreme as before and I know that I cannot have my two at home. I also realize a very big component of the illness that having addicted adult children causes parents.
It is a compulsion to throw ourselves, needs and lives under the proverbial bus to try and cure/fix our children. It gets to the point where self nurturing seems selfish. So many posts have I read where folks write "How can I find joy when I know my son/daughter is out there?"
I think what is most important about this site is that it is a soft place to land. We all arrive here pretty shell shocked and beaten down from years of this. We all have our own unique experiences and personalities and journey to find our way back to balance, to reinventing ourselves in the horror of this.
What I focused today on my walk was this
"You do you, Leafy....."
I wanted to share that with you RN. "You do you...." You have grown leaps and bounds and you will continue to grow on this path that addiction has thrown us all on.
Take it or leave it, the wild rant and vent of a widow with two addicts out there, we are all walking on this tight-rope trying to find our balance, a way back to ourselves despite what the kids do.
No matter what we do, they will do what they do anyway.
I hope I haven't offended anyone. I am claiming widows brain this year. My well kids say that has a time frame.....but I don't think so. I am finding my way, slowly but surely.
I see that you all are too. After all, we can only do our best with what we have at the time we have it.
I am so thankful for this site, and the wonderful folks here. Haven't posted in a while, but I have been following along while in survival mode and super busy with my boy.
RN, go to Florida and enjoy yourself and have an awesome Thanksgiving. Do what nurtures and sustains YOU! You do you RN!
Much love,


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Hi New Leaf.

I have been wondering how you were, the what and hoping you were doing well. Clearly, by your post, you are. Given everything, the way it is, and has been.
I know that I cannot have my two at home
This is your place to stand. You have been consistent. It is an important beginning. Your claim of your own value and deserving and strength. How many of us get to this point, really? This starting point that begins, and supports and fuels everything.
cure/fix our children
Another important understanding, that when understood from its core, can be everything. To know this, and accept it--what a humbling and a gift to everybody in our sphere, along to ourselves.

The questions for me, are now, what do we do after we have found this place to stand? Do we see our kids? How do we love them? Can we accept them into our sphere (I am not speaking of a spatial or physical sphere here?) How do we see them, as moral and spiritual people, with their own rights and obligations, without imposing our own?

Is all of this, for us, a defense? Are we walking their walk too? Is one way better or more authentic or more defensible than another? Is there a power play at work? By whom? To what extent or another are we imposing control, as well as them?

What do we want for them, that we really have the right to want or ask? By throwing them out or keeping them away (I have done both)--do I seek the easy way, to turn my back on him? At what cost to myself?

These are questions I am only now asking, having spent the bulk of the last decade hiding, running, hysterically denying responsibility, guilt and any control what so ever--especially with respect to myself.

Welcome back. I was away for a while too, maybe 4 or 5 or 6 months I posted sporadically if at all. The time out helped me. To see myself and my situation with a bit more clarity. To see whether and how I might have changed, and to look at myself and us through a different lens, as you are doing too.

Take care, New Leaf. You are strong.


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He threatened her but said to me that she knew he didn't mean it blah blah and he has never been violent and didn't think it was illegal
RN.Son needs to know that the law now (my state only?) considers this to be a terrorist threat. I have known people who got 3 years prison. But more important is that you know.

I went through a period when like you I would not see or speak with my son, did not seek him out, miss him, or want him near me at all. I could not stand it and could not stand him. Period. While I did not do this with any intention to change or influence him, it got his attention.

The decision will have to be his, your son's to do whatever it takes to be in your orbit. Whatever drinking, drugging, acting out, working or not--that he does until he decides to do what it takes to be near you at all, is his choice and responsibility. Period. End of your part of the story, this chapter of it. That is what I think.

But this is not the whole book of his life or your own. You know this. We cannot hinge upon their actions, their feelings, their this and that for our own stories.

Our children, our sons, were never our whole stories. We were workers, wives, friends, neighbors--always. There is no reason that those facets of your life have to be colored by your sons actions and yours to him. That is a personal choice.

Why? For your sense of culpability and responsibility or penance? That is garbage and you know it.

This is his life to make sense of and he is doing it. Just as it is our lives that we are trying to make sense of by and through boundaries, and limits, and insights, and support, etcetera.

You know I am very like you in almost everything with respect to my son. I am back in bed!! Even that. Overwhelmed again with life. Feeling undeserving even, of my own life. But from bed, I can say to you: Give yourself back your life. And give him, his own.

Addiction is addiction. He will have lapses, until he does not. And he will decide when enough is enough. M with whom I live with a lifelong functioning alcoholic. The son of a lifelong alcoholic. He had stopped for 19 years and resumed drinking a few years before I met him.

He drank less after we met but something happened that really scared him in relation to me. He had deep shame. And one day, when he was about 56 years old he stopped and never drank again. A couple of times he tasted a liqueur I made, no problem. He is not tempted to drink, will not be around old drinking buddies and is committed to not drink.

I worry as does his sister what he will do when his mother dies (she is his beloved) but when that day comes he will decide. Can I control it? No. Can you? No.

Oh the agonies we live here on this forum. My question is this? How can I see this as real and necessary life, and live fully the time I have left. (Which I fear is not that much.)

M said something wise the other day: He had relented and decided to allow my son back into our lives. He said we have failed many times, and we will fail many times more.

Which I understood as his saying: That this is what it means to live and to love. And to stay in the game of life and of love.
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Staying in the game for love, life. Even if we choose to skip our turn...we're still a pawn on the board.

Yes...we choose this, because we know the players can change, and for right now, I want to play with this group...important fact..it's our choice.


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RN, I am sorry to read about these developments. I agree with Leafy, at this point you do what is necessary to keep the peace in your family. I too hope that you are having a wonderful FL Thanksgiving weekend!

Leafy, it is always so nice to read your posts. I am happy to "see" you again and find out how you are adjusting to your dear hub's passing. I am happy to read that the ups and downs have leveled out somewhat.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Leafy, it is always so nice to read your posts. I am happy to "see" you again and find out how you are adjusting to your dear hub's passing. I am happy to read that the ups and downs have leveled out somewhat.
Hi Albie. Thank you dear. Not really leveled out too much.....just finding different ways to cope. Its nice to "see" you too Albie!
RN, I hope you had a good Thanksgiving wth your hubby!