What would you do?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Enmeshedmom, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    so I have been learning a lot from this forum and from reading some good books and I have come to the conclusion that I need to gets serious about my own issues if I ever want to be happy. Recently I have decided that maybe I should tell my Difficult Child that come spring it is time for him to look for his own place no matter if he is taking classes or not. Part of me feels like I will not be able to be happy until he is out on his own and then part of me feels like I will just find something or someone else to obsess over if I don’t deal with myself first. He leaves the house every day within an hour or so of being awake to go “skiing” so he says, he knows I’m not buying it but still insists on keeping the charade going. He is going to smoke pot and he stays gone for hours I imagine so that he doesn’t have walk in the house high still. Today was below zero all day but still he had to go out “skiing”. So yes he is following my rules by not smoking in the house and not coming in visibly high but he is also not making finding another job a priority, he has only put out one resume. He has money in the bank he has saved for school but he is going to have to use it until he finds another job because we won’t give him money. I know that his life is his own business but I cannot stand being lied to and I have a really hard time keeping my sh#t together when someone looks me in the face and lies to me. So I guess my question is should I just stand back and let him crash and burn as long as he follows house rules? Or should I just tell him he will need to find a place of his own? I’m going to attend my first al Anon meeting this Sunday and am hoping it helps.
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Tough questions. The first one 1000% yes stand out of his way. Let him face the natural consequences of his actions.

    Second question is a tough one. I encourage you to use new resources and tools provided to you from Alanon and what ever decision you come up with make sure it is one you can live with and stick with.

    Many hugs to you. This is tough stuff. I so hate the lies and the ease at which they lie to us.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Enmeshed mom, there is no right answer to your question about your son....all any of us can do is what we can live with. It's an agonizing journey, I know.

    My advice to you would be to take the time now to work on yourself. Your son is abiding by your house rules and as you mentioned, it's time "to deal with yourself first." Starting with Al Anon is a wonderful step. Many here have also found solace at Families Anonymous as well as CoDA.

    You might gain some insight or guidance from the article on detachment at the bottom of my post.

    Most of us here find that in order for any change to take place, WE have to be the ones who change. We've learned we cannot change another, we can't fix them, control them, nor are we responsible when they go off the rails. Many of us have private therapists since in order to do the changing, we have to go against our natural instincts to protect, nurture, take care of and keep our kids safe.......which are extremely difficult parental tendencies to override. You might consider finding a therapist who is well versed in substance abuse and codependency.

    I found as I healed myself from my own codependent, over-giving, enabling tendencies, those angers and resentments you spoke of on another thread begin to dissipate. I think when we override our own well being to take care of another, over time we add quite a bit more weight to the anger/resentment pile. Anger can mask a deep sorrow/grief which is more difficult to access.....which is where professional support can help. I found as I healed from my own codependent issues it was easier to effectively handle my daughter's behaviors and choices in healthy ways.

    Hang in there. You're doing a good job in an impossible situation.....continue to post.....get yourself as much support as you can muster.....nourish yourself, cover all the basics, eat well, exercise, sleep 8 hours a night, it's easy to forget how important those simple things are to our health and well being......take time to do fun things you enjoy....take time to separate yourself from your son's choices to remember to find joy for yourself. You're not alone.....we're here for you.
  4. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    Thanks. It was so easy to disguise my own issues when the kids were small, just seemed like really decent all be it over protective parenting. Fast forward a few years and it is pretty evident that I need major recovery of my own. I use to think I was lucky that I didn’t turn to alcohol after bring raised in an alcoholic household but I am still very affected.
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  5. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    I do feel like my son has suffered a lot because of my codependency issues. I’m so hopeful that I can get better and at least set a better example for both of my kids.
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I don't think there is one person on this planet that doesn't have some type of issue to deal with. Acknowledging that we have issues is a HUGE step so bravo to you for recognizing that you need to do some self work.
    Maybe, maybe not - regardless, we each have to own our issues - whether parent or child.
    My bio-father molested not only me and my sisters but other girls too. He was also an alcoholic. Did this create issues for me, absolutely! Am I defined by that, no!
    At some point we each have to take ownership of our lives, all the good and all the bad. It's no different for our kids.
    You are on the right path and I'm glad you will be attending Al-Anon.

    As for your son and whether you should give him a time limit of how long he can live in your home, well there is no easy answer.
    For me, when having someone in your home makes life completely unbearable, well then I think that would be the time for them to leave.
    Only you know how much you can put up with.
    That being said, there is nothing wrong with starting to plant some seeds in your son's mind. You could start by asking him the question; "So, when do you plan on moving out and getting your own place?" If he gives an answer of "I don't know" you can respond with, "Well, you need to know because you are not going to live here forever". You can follow up with, "I'm not saying you have to move out tomorrow but you need to have a plan in place and if you can't come up with one you will leave me no choice but to set a date for you".

    You are doing great, stay steady the course you are on.
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  7. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    I guess I’m just not sure yet if it is living with him that is unbearable or if it is living with myself. We have been saving things for awhile for him to take with him when he moves out. I always ask him if he’d like to take specific things with him when he leaves or if I should give it to goodwill. That way he knows I don’t plan on him staying forever.
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  8. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    EM take time to evaluate and ensure you are making a decision you can be firm with.

    I put together a list of what we expect and what boundaries we will have in place for our son when he is in rehab and when he comes out of rehab. I had to think long and hard about what I want and what I expect.

    A big part of me kept saying that son is not ready to be on his own. He has not completed high school and doesn’t have a job. FOG and Enabling. Not going to do it.

    I have put in place the following.

    If he leaves they are to notify us and then call the police as we will not let him return home, we will rescind his bail and he will be sentenced and face jail time.

    If he completes rehab and has not been able to complete high school (he can attend classes. While he is there), we will not support another attempt at obtaining high school. He will need to get a job and attend GED classes on line.

    IF he completes rehab he can come home and will have 90 days to get a job. He will have to pay room and board and contribute positively to the household chores.

    He will have to follow same house rules and there will be zero tolerance for drugs.

    If he completes rehab and high school, and would like to attend College we will support him with tuition, supplies and housing. As long as he is obtaining passing grades.

    These terms will be read to him upon intake and will also be shared with his lawyer.

    I review this daily as I need to have the strength to follow through on the plan.

    I was not the perfect parent nor so I believe there is such a thing.

    I suffered abuse at the hands of a sibling and my mother was too weak to address it properly. It took me a great deal of therapy to overcome this harahip. I did it though.

    My therapist once said to me parents have very little influence over how their children turn out. We delude ourselves that we do. We take pride when things go well and take blame when things go bad. Neither the pride or the blame belong to us. She then assigned us the homework of going to see The Glass Castle for homework. I had read the book my husband had not. It brought her message home.
  9. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    Well yesterday was supposed to be my first al Anon meeting but I guess they didn’t have it because of New Year’s Eve. It was still listed on the schedule but I heard that they are automatically generated and don’t always get updated to reflect holidays. Oh well I’ll try again next Sunday, at least I got in my car and made the trip as full of anxiety as I was.
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