Wanted to give an update and need a boost


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Not sure when I updated everyone on my son who lives 1500+miles away in a state where weed is legal. Lives alone in an apartment. Since last June we have supported 6 attempts at some sort of treatment whether it be inpatient from 5-28 days or IOP's to the last attempt a 2 week PHP after a 5 week bender and not giving a "f**k" like he says... Somehow through all of this his job was protected through FMLA and short term disability. Plus since he his an alcoholic - this disease is protected under the ADA...
So like I wrote before he treats us like crap, we enabled him way too long and now realize that all of our attempts to help just "one more time" from paying a months rent to paying the fine to break the lease early, did absolutely nothing for him. Plus we didn't even get a thank you! The debt we have accrued through all of this is disheartening because I had heard that he is back to smoking weed and drinking.
There was no Happy Mother's day call or text... No Happy Fathers day call or text either.
I got a text 3 weeks ago asking for help so he and his new girlfriend could go to an event out of state... I ignored that text completely... Then last Sat I get a text with a picture of his renters ins. bill.. I replied that I am not on the lease anymore so I don't feel I need to pay that... got an "lol" reply.. Have not heard from him since. My husband did call and left a voicemail just to touch base and that was ignored again like always.
The ins. bill is due tomorrow... I am cringing that he is going to text me to see if I paid it. I have heard a 2 weeks ago that he is not in a good financial place that he can't even afford his medication. He stopped getting the shot to stop the cravings.... said he couldn't afford the copay...$40...
I understand that he has a lot of bills due to being at the ER many times for detox medications and then drinking the following day and then returning a few days later to another ER ...

I want to say so many things to him but I am told by my parents group to say nothing. To not engage in any conversation or manipulation on my part. If he does text me to see if I paid the bill.... I want to say.. "I feel hurt that you only contact me when you want a bill paid. We don't have the money to pay it. We need to take care of ourselves and have helped you so much last year between breaking the lease, paying for treatment and flying out so many times. Maybe instead of getting tattoos all the time, you should put so much money away for these bills that come due. I don't even know if you are sober? You are not working any type of program that I am aware of."
But I am told to just say No I am not paying it and don't say anything else... UGH so hard!

I feel lost most days and then other days angry inside that I don't have any relationship with my son. In his eyes, we are horrible. I pray that one day he will realize we did this to try to save him.
If he relapses badly again, I just don't know how he will make it with his apartment, etc. He doesn't want to have an eviction on his record or credit but if he can't get his crap together, that may be what will happen.
Thanks for listening. I just don't understand why he can't follow the recommendations and stop always trying to do it his way.


Well-Known Member
I am in Al Anon. My advice is to say nothing. No response. And do nothing. Alcoholism is an illness that impedes the ability to feel empathy. He doesnt care how you feel and will only text back hurtful abuse. You dont need to throw oil on a fire. It wont affect him except to anger him. He is still very ill. He needs to be clean of alcohol to feel empathy again.

You didnt cause it, you cant control it and you cant cure it. I would block him so he cant text you about the bill. You need to let him do what he can do for himself in my opinion. And Al Anon. He can stop getting tatoos and doing stupid things that land him in ER. He wont learn in my opinion if you rescue him. You have already helped him. There comes atime to stop. Yes, we enabled badly and finally learned. It is hard to stop but necessary.

To those who know I am on vacation, it is so peaceful to not have our phones. We plan on a moonlight walk by the beach in a few minutes. We made a rule not to talk about Kay to one another on this trip and we have not. I again recommend anyone who can to get away to do so for a rest and shut off the phones. We thought at one time that we could save Kay. We made her entitled, worse and childish. At age 33. She is still helpless and very rude too and still smoking pot and maybe more every day.

The money doesnt help.

Take care. I understand the urge to give him a piece of your mind. But it will only cause him anger and he will hurt you and I dont think you deserve it. We heard plenty. We are done...I hope I can be strong enough to keep doing it. We have done it for several weeks. She wont text us and we havent texted her. She only called once to taunt us and we hung up the call.

Stay strong!
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Well-Known Member
But I am told to just say No I am not paying it and don't say anything else... UGH so hard!
I agree with busy and I agree with your parents' group.
If he relapses badly again, I just don't know how he will make it with his apartment, etc.
He will likely lose the apartment unless he helps himself. Is the important thing that he helps himself, or that he have the apartment? The only way he will learn is to experience the consequences of his choices. This is not a question of logic or knowledge. It is his life. Until he understands his condition in these terms, where will be the motivation to change? He sounds arrogant and entitled, like he deserves to be fed on a silver platter. That he lose something, and suffer a little may be a good teacher.

I know it is hard to watch this slow motion train wreck as a parent. I am living it too. But there is no other way. We have tried to do for them, or to pressure them to do for themselves. It does not work. This is his life story to write. Not yours. However painful it is. I am sorry.

Trying, you are doing wonderfully. You are doing this! Letting him find his solutions, and to deal himself with the result. This is the best thing for you and for him. He knows you love him.

I think there is a silver lining here. He has his job. He has a girlfriend. He has medical insurance. He is still doing something to help himself. Maybe not as much as before but he is hanging in here. Maybe there is a glass half full.


Active Member
He is covered under my health insurance. That is also another issue. I am tired of facing the deductibles esp. the out of network ones since he lives in another state and few accept our insurance as in network. He can get it through work but we left him stay on ours so he wouldn't face those payroll deductions yet.... again trying to help him because he is doing it alone out there. His choice. His addiction and manipulative/entitled personality is why his long term girlfriend left him over a year ago. Took advantage of her for all those years- manipulating her to pay for everything expect the electric and comcast.. Now he is faced with all the normal bills like rent which is takes up at least one of his paychecks. (they get paid biweekly). He isn't left with 3/4 of the 2nd check to pay for all his other bills which I know he isn't left with much of anything therefore charges the rest resulting in huge credit card debt... the booze,tattoos, etc escalated the debt even more. To even make the minimum payment is hard.
I know- not my problem. That is why we keep him on our insurance but part of me wants to remove him from that as well. One IOP said take him off- let him find his own. A rehab said to let him on so at least I know he will have good health care and be able to get decent treatment for another year and half... Told me I am not the only one facing these deductible costs.... I don't want anymore debt! We have tried 6 attempts at some sort of treatment and he still after 5 weeks does what he wants and quits then relapses.
I am trying to keep the faith and place him in Gods hands. I don't even know what to pray anymore. I don't know if he still has the girlfriend. He did about 4 weeks ago. Haven't heard anything.
We have suggested he gets a 2nd job many times in the past since he has weekends off and his job isn't offering any overtime but that went over like a lead balloon... Tells me he did that once and won't do it again...

I know this isn't the son I raised. It feels like he is gone forever.
I am numb.


Well-Known Member
Just because the insurance is in your name does not mean you have to pay the bills! Unless you have signed something at the hospital or doctors office agreeing to pay for the bills.

We left the girls on our insurance, but when they turned 18, I called the medical and dental offices in our town that we normally used and had them moved off our family account and put on their own.

I told both girls I would pay the copay for 2 Appts for cleaning their teeth, a yearly physical, Appts for getting/staying on birth control. And, if they wanted to return for mental health appointments, monthly Appts. The copay is $30 per appointment.

You are not legally responsible for his medical bills. Ksm


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Hi Trying:

Our almost 24 year old son is on my health insurance right now. He does not work full time (going to welding school) but if he DID and he was eligible for insurance through HIS employer but was on mine and my company found out that I'm covering him I could be terminated. I am not sure that is the case for you but you may want to look into it. Of course at 26 they are off automatically. For me it's the December of the year he turns 26 that he ages out of coverage.

I agree with the others. I actually told my son to pretend we did not exist. How would he do things then??? He is living with us until he learns a trade and can be on his own and I cannot WAIT for that day!!! I do not like him living with us. I did initially but I honestly don't think it is helping HIM to be with US. He needs to grow up and be in his own place making his own way. I desperately want that.

Please let him be. If he doesn't contact you then that probably means he's going along okay. You cannot make him change. I agree not to say anything. What you/we say goes in one ear and out the other. Why even put that effort forth. It doesn't matter. Please listen to your parents group. He does not have any respect for you and his father right now so stop beating your heart against a rock and try to accept this is how it is NOW. He has a lot of changing to do before you can have a healthy relationship with him. It's his journey and his timing.

Having him far away is probably a good thing. I did just fine when my son was far away. My therapy learning boundaries and detachment worked for me. I am still practicing both with him because I'm important too and so are you!!

You are doing better than you give yourself credit for I think.

Praying for your peace.


Well-Known Member
I agree with the others about the copays. My 30 year old son is on my insurance. I have nothing at all to do with his copays or other costs. He is on his own there. I never realized I had any obligation at all to pay for anything to do with all of that. Do you?
our insurance but part of me wants to remove him from that as well
One IOP said take him off- let him find his own. A rehab said to let him on so at least I know he will have good health care and be able to get decent treatment foranother year and half.
This is an interesting quandary because it brings up two questions.

What is best for us? To have the security to know he is insured or to be free of any entanglement?

And the other question, do we really help them and protect them by helping them to avoid the inevitable costs of their own lives?

It sounds like in this case you can have it both ways: keeping him on the insurance and not accepting responsibility for costs. He is a legal, emancipated adult. For some reason you keep accepting responsibility for these medical costs, when you are not obligated to do so. What is the payoff to you of doing so? Nobody is forcing this on you. If son could continue on your insurance with all of its benefits, without your stepping forward to take on this responsibility of copays, if there is no compelling reason to do so, why do it?


Sending good vibes...
I know that every time I've said to my therapist ..."but I want to tell my son(s) they need to do this and they need to do that and they must do this and they must do that"...She always reminds me the time for giving them advice is over at 26 and 30. Let me tell you sometimes my tongue bleeds from trying to hold back my advice because I just want to shake some sense into them and wake them up! I've been reminded too from a lot of books I've read that I have to stop thinking I have all the "right" answers. Truthfully and honestly when I think about it, I guess I don't have all the answers.

Regarding the insurance "issues". At one point my younger son had so many bills from going into the ER from over drinking and probably drugs too and he was so sick we thought he was going to die. Someone reminded me (this was before he turned 26) that he may be on my insurance but I'm not responsible for his bills. Although, I had to take care of this, I picked up a financial assistance application at the hospital. Quite honestly, it wasn't too difficult to complete because he had, no housing, no job ...no nothing. The assistance program paid all the bills I submitted along with the application. The only one it was a relief to was me because my son had no intention of paying these bills anyways. He had no means.

Maybe that's an option?


Active Member
Thank you all for your replies. I take each one to heart and appreciate every word of advice. The reason we are paying for the out of network deductibles for the IOP's is because my counselor had said that if it had to do with recovery, it was okay to offer to pay. When he went to the last IOP/sober living, he wanted to go. It was his idea and he made the calls. We thought he finally had enough and we said we would pay... Little did I know he was going to pull the "I don't want to do their IOP. It robs me of time at the gym, etc." So he told them he was quitting and that it was poorly run. With that they made him leave the sober living home as well.
Going forward, I want to say that we will not be responsible for the deductibles. That is what I said to the rehab I called last week just to ask about their program. He proceeded to tell me if I tell my son he is responsible for the payment, he won't go. It will immediately send a bad vibe and he will pull away.

My employer is fine with covering my children until they are 26. Hoping the business is still going at that time. If not, then my son will have to get off of it.

He is responsible for his copays and er visits. We said we would pay the deductibles because we truly felt he was ready. Going forward, we will tell him upfront we won't pay anymore. I fear that he won't go then.

He hasn't reached out to me today about the renters insurance. Either he thinks I paid it or he figured it out himself. He hasn't made any contact since I said I shouldn't be responsible for that. No texts, no return call to my husband, nothing.
It is okay. I get emotional when I think about it. I look back at the memories we had when they were little and it breaks my heart.
I wonder if my children ever look back on those times and smile. Sometimes I feel we as parents enjoyed the time with them better than they did with us.
Thank you again.


Active Member
It used to be very difficult for me to bite my tongue too. I created a little pep talk for myself when I wanted to give my daughter a piece of my mind, give advice or tell her all the things she was doing wrong. I told myself that if those things would have worked to make her change her life it would have happened by now because I had certainly said all the things I wanted to say and more in the past to no avail. Interestingly, in my case, when I stopped giving my opinions and advice our relationship changed. We got along better and that reinforced me keeping my mouth shut. Over time she also improved her life. I don't know if it was due to her not feeling the need to prove me wrong or if she just matured but things got better for her. Mind you, I realize she could revert back tomorrow, but I'm enjoying the way things are now. It also got easier for me to keep my mouth shut because I found that my stress stayed much lower when I did. I realized all that wasted energy could be put to better use- mostly on myself. I still worry about things and some of the things she does drive me crazy, but I don't feel as compelled to tell her about it anymore. She's an adult and can do what she wants. I know how hard it is, but I think once you get used to it you will start to appreciate it. It also leaves you free to keep your focus where it should be- on your own health and happiness. Sending peace to you.