What people say....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by toughlovin, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    OK I ran into someone I know tonight at a town event. She is he mother of one of difficult children classmates who I have known for years. She is not someone I confide in very much but she knows difficult child and knows some of his history. So we chatted about all of our other kids (hers and my easy child) but I could not leave the conversation without mentioning difficult child because that would just be an obvious omission. So I did tell her that difficult child is in the area and is doing pretty well and is in rehab.

    She then told me her niece is having some issues her first year in college. Her brother has had to tell her she cant live at home if she doesnt obey the rules. Sound familiar??? My heart of course went out to her brother.

    So then she says to me " I just told him that we just have to try and keep them safe!".

    Well darn it that is so easy to say but impossible sometimes to do.... because sometimes keeping them safe in our minds means enabling them in their drug use which of course does not keep them safe. So yeah I would have liked to keep my son safe, made sure he had a place to live, food to eat and all that.....instead I let him be homeless for several months!!! The whole statement kind of bothered me.... and I did not go into it with her because of course she doesnt get it because with a non difficult child kid, it is obvious that you do what you have to do to keep them safe.

    But for us with serious drug using difficult children sometimes that is just plain impossible. And the best thing we can do is to not help them unless they are willing to do what they can to help themselves and that means letting them in fact face unsafe situations.

    Anyway just need to express that to folks who know what I mean.

    And thank goodness this came up while my difficult child is safe!! He actually called us today....decided to call us on the day he can make a phone call, instead of shooting himself in the foot (his words) and calling the girlfriend (or whatever she is). When I asked him what he thought of the place he said "It is growing on me". He sounded really good!! I am trying not to get too excited and just reminding myself to take one day at a time.


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  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I have been trying to keep my son safe since the day he was born. He on the other hand has done his best to put himself in some very unsafe situations. She meant well....she is just looking at it from the perspective of someone who has not walked in our shoes.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry you felt bad with what she said TL and I know how sensitive we are to things like that. From another perspective, when my difficult child was in high school and up until she turned 21 I actually use to say I felt like my job was to keep her safe until she matured and learned how to keep herself safe. Even the resource officer at the high school was talking to me one day and told me the same thing, that parents just have to do whatever they can to keep their kids safe from all the drugs/alcohol/temptations out there until their brains matured. So perhaps she didn't mean it any other way than that. Once my difficult child turned 21, or actually before that when she no longer lived here, I realized I had no more control over that and I could no longer keep her safe, she was on her own
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'd say she was more sensitive than 80% of easy child Moms. She's trying to wrap her head around it. Heck...we who live in the midst of the chaos have to keep trying to wrap our heads around "our" reality and what we anticipated. Hugs DDD
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Oh I think her intentions were good... dont think she was saying anything about me. I do have some baggage because of course she has known my son forever and it is kind of embarrassing where he has ended up etc. I think though it just struck me as so easy to say our job is to keep them safe but in fact that is impossible sometimes. Actually it is impossible with PCs to... unless you keep them completely away from the world and then illnesses etc. can happen.

    But I think it is this message that with a kid who is using drugs that somehow we have the control and ability to at least keep them safe.... when we dont.

    I think in general society gives parents a lot more control than we actually have!!

    I guess the difference is with my easy child I trust her to make good decisions, and for the most part she does, and she talks to me about all of them anyway so I really dont worry about her much. With a gifg it is so much harder.


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  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    I guess we could build a cage and lock them in that cage until they turn, oh, say 40 or so.

    That would be keeping them safe.

    But I think it's against the law.

    That is how dumb that comment is, and shows that she knows nothing about what we are all dealing with.

    I just can't be around people like that anymore. Not because they don't know, but because they are so insensitive.

    It's like people saying at a funeral: Well, this was God's will. He is in a better place. God was calling his angel home.

    You know what? If you don't know what you are talking about, say nothing.

    Sorry for the rant, but that felt good. ;)
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmmm well I hope I'm not in that dumb category Childofmine, because honestly I use to say that all the time about me difficult child. I knew there was very little I had control of and I never had any illusions that I could absolutely keep her safe. What I meant when I said that was doing whatever I could within my ability to keep her safe, pick her up from drug houses, monitor her computer use and friends, not allow drugs or alcohol in the house, etc., etc. In other words not close my eyes to the things that perhaps parents who have easy child's do. I guess the more I think about it, that was the only thing I could try and do during those years is to "try" to keep her safe. At a certain age all of that trying is moot.
  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    Hi Nancy, I certainly do not think those of us who are in the trenches with our difficult children are dumb. I was talking about the people---well-meaning perhap but uninformed---who casually throw off platitudes that have no basis.

    I understand what you are saying about safe, and I did that too.

    We tried hard.
  9. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    You have done EVERYTHING in your power to keep your son safe! We all know that.

    You know, last night I was watching 60 minutes and they did a report on the homeless and how much they are costing tax payers in ER visits etc. They concluded that it was less expensive to taxpayers to house them, take them to Dr appointments, etc than to leave them on the streets "hospital hopping/ER hopping" (my words). One thing I thought was very interesting was that they said 60 PERCENT of homeless are drug addicts or alcholics...only 30 percent have mental illness. The drug addicts they said "have burned all their bridges".
    They were saying, "THIS. IS. THEIR. CHOICE".
    Many of them CHOOSE TO USE rather than accept any confy provisions which require sobriety.

    You have done all you could along the way. You had the necessary strength to allow your son to face natural consequences. You could have "rescued" him and he could have died/Od'd in the comforts of your home. That's not what happend...and look where he is today! You made the tough decisions TL.
    You made the RIGHT DECISIONS.

    These days we hear of so many celebrities who have-it-ALL. All the love and adoration, ton's of money, resources available to them 24/7 and yet they OD. No amount of "goods" are enough to lift a difficult child out of addiciton.

    And we don't have the luxery that easy child only parents do to "keep them safe." No, we have a mich bigger task. We have to think of ways that keep them ALIVE! And sometimes that means NO HOME. We have to encourage them in ways that almost seem heartless...but in our world, necessary.

    You are a strong and very loving mom TL. Don't ever let anybody make you second guess that!

    You have taught me SO MUCH. I admire you.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Couldn't agree more LMS, I like the "keep them alive." That is probably much closer to the truth. TL you have done a miraculous job getting help for your son. When I think of a warrior mom you pop into my head every time. I do not think I could have done half what you have done and stayed sane.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Aw thanks!!! Even keeping them alive is a hard one for me.... I remember when my son was on the streets of Denver last winter my biggest fear was that he would die.... I would go to sleep at night wondering if he was alive or dead in the streets.... and yet ultimately I knew that even keeping him alive was out of my control. That is what is so darned hard about loving and being the parent to a drug addict. Ultimately it is out of our control. All I could do was to love him, let him know I love him, and help him if he was asking for something reasonable..... anything else was enabling him. And yes I did do things like get him that camping equipment and sleeping bag.... if a sleeping bag would keep him warm in the winter then so be it. Who knows what happened to that stuff... it may have been sold for drugs.

    But I also truly believe if he had stayed at home in our house he might also be dead by now!! He was getting heavier and heavier into drugs and if I had made life comfortable I think he would have gotten seriously into heroin (and maybe he did I dont really know). He was not going to stop using without being in a position where he felt he had no choice.

    Luckily I think jail did that for him... at least for now. He is making progress and he is still in the program he is in and I believe at this point he is at least clean of drugs. And although he is not real open with me in the talking part our relatonship is warm and he gives me a good solid hug when I see him. I am so thankful he is where he is at the moment.


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