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Old 04-14-2008, 07:14 PM   #1 (permalink)

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To enable or not to enable...

Well...here I am again, providing my AS with a place to live, food to eat etc. As you all know this is the easiest thing to do. I dont want to be doing this anymore not because I dont love him or want to provide for him, but because I want him to get back on the road of recovery. I had shared b4 that I was refusing to pick him up out of state, but family (who does not understand obviously) forced me to not make my problem theirs. I picked my son up 3 weeks ago with the understanding that he had to get help, and that home was not an option for him. Since his return, he has not gotten help, he has not gone to meetings, he has not changed. He comes in late at night and avoids me at all costs. I know your thinking well....lock the doors. Sounds easy, but I rent an apartment and he creates a scene and has already broken the door. This is an awful situation and I would just like to scream! At this point I really dont know how to handle the situation. I have sent a email trying to contact someone to help me with an intervention, and email to Pheonix House to seek placement immediatly after the intervention. These are things he should be doing, but at 20 yrs old he is not. He does not drive, he does not have an education, and we live in a very rural area. I keep reading the writing "Let me Fall" and I just cant seem to get there this time around with him. He has made the streets not a safe place for him to be. Well thank you all again for hearing me out.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What are you prepared to do if an intervention doesn't work?
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry you are dealing with this. Others who have experience with this will probably be along. I hope you understand I am only saying this as something to consider, and in no way telling you what you should or shouldn't do, but maybe you should ask yourself how much you are willing to do to stop enabling him. I mention this because it seems that if he already broke your door, your safety might be at risk, and you could possibly have him removed. I know that sounds harsh, and to be honest, I'm not sure if I could ever do that...just thought I should put it out there. I know you worry about where he would go....are there any other options for him besides with you?
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Seacup, as a mom who let her own son come home far too many times, my heart and prayers go out to you.

The thing is, it never worked, not once. He was incapable of keeping even well meant promises and all that happened was that the darkness of addiction moved into my house.

I too worry for your safety. He's holding you hostage with fear of him acting out again and that's not a good place to be.

I'm sorry he's using, I'm sorry he's on a self-destructive path, but you must know by now that nothing a mother says or doesn't say, nothing a mother does or doesn't do, not all the mother's love in the world makes a lick of difference...if it did, not one of us would be here.

Please take care of yourself, it's a rough road we travel and we can't help them but it's important that we help ourselves so we don't go down with them.

Hugs and Prayers
Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark...Rabindranath Tagore
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Old 04-15-2008, 01:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Prayers for strength, wisdom, and self-love going out to you today, Seacup. It's such a difficult place to be for a mother. Many here have had to call the police when their children have come to the house high or enraged. Please do not be afraid to do that, even if it is your son. You certainly wouldn't allow a stranger to bust in your door, and when they are in the throws of addiction, sometimes that is exactly what they are -- a stranger.
"Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, a loss of power, and a sense of spiritual deadness." - ****** Gawain
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Old 04-15-2008, 05:45 AM   #6 (permalink)

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When dealing with an addict I have learned that the thing I need to do are the things I DON'T WANT to do! If he creates a scene, consider calling the police. I had to once when my AD was abusive and wouldn't leave. Sorry for the pain, it hurts.
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by caileesnana View Post
When dealing with an addict I have learned that the thing I need to do are the things I DON'T WANT to do! If he creates a scene, consider calling the police. I had to once when my AD was abusive and wouldn't leave. Sorry for the pain, it hurts.
I agree completely. Call the police immediately, do not pass go, do not collect $200!

I can tell you this. My parents almost loved me to death. I know they did the best with what they had, but it certainly prolonged me hitting a bottom and seeking recovery.

The first jail stint that my oldest addict daughter did was 9 months on meth-related felony charges, 9 months.

I knew she had no where to go when she got out. I did NOT want her here at home.

My parents kept pressing the issue and Dad reminded me it was the Christian thing to do, so against my better judgement, I allowed her to stay with me.

Huge mistake. I had very clear rules set down, and she broke every one of them. The final straw was me coming home early from running errands, the stereo was up full blast, my house reeked of pot, and she was in bed with some guy I had never seen and who went to prison later for molesting two 9 year old girls.

I showed her the door, changed the locks, and got a restraining order on her.

In the midst of all this, she had also sucked her then 15 year old sister into her insanity, and my youngest ended up running away with a 24 year old predator a few weeks later who my oldest had introduced her to.

It truly is possible to love a child in active addiction/alcoholism to death.

Now that she's sucked my parents dry, they have finally washed their hands of enabling her.

Tough love is just that, it's tough on us. However, I have found the more that I practice it, the easier it gets.

This disease robs everyone of peace of mind and sanity, loved ones and addicts/alkies alike.

Today I sleep well at nights knowing I have placed my oldest daughter in God's loving hands, having faith that his plans are far better for her than me jumping in the middle and trying to 'help'.
DeVon & the Zoo Crew

‎An error doesn't become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.
--Orlando A. Battista

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Old 04-15-2008, 08:52 AM   #8 (permalink)

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I think Freedom said it all. I especially like to listen to someone who has been there themselves because they know first hand.

Detaching is so important but it is so hard to do. I struggle with this also.
I have called the police on my daughter before and I would do it again if I had to.
I am getting better at enforcing my boundaries. It does take time.

My best to you............Lo
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As many have said - there is nothing easy about this path.

My latest mottos have been - "If my Big Girl Panties get any bigger, They will need their own Time Zone" and "Talking/reasoning with an addict in the active part of their disease is like talking to a Pine tree. If you can convince the Pine Tree to do what you want it to do, then you maybe could convince an addict to something you want them to do."

It is ok to do things that help you to feel safe and serene - In doing so, you are also giving your son the most wonderful gift you can - The dignity to find his own path.

As many recovery A's will tell you, once they did find sobriety they had a lot of guilt and remorse about the way they treated their loved ones. I have heard many share that they were so grateful when their parents, spouses, children, etc. stopped letting them "get away with stuff and forced them to deal with their own cr#p" because that was so much less they had to feel remorseful about.

Just e, s, & h that I have heard during my time of recovery,

Wishing you Serenity, Joy and safety,
"Never let me imagine that my satisfaction with life depends on what someone else may do." ODAT in Al-Anon pg 234

PINK isn't just a color ~ it's my favorite attitude!
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Old 04-15-2008, 10:22 AM   #10 (permalink)

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My AS is 21 years old, been through what you are going through. Each time he left rehab I would set boundaries let him move back in. Oh he was great the first week or two then all the boundaries were broken. No meetings, back to thieving, absolutely no change he would stay out all nite , sleep during the day and make a mess of my home. He went back to rehab last June and stayed until October. He pulled a fast one on me told me he was suffering depression big time. The rehab he was in sent him to the hospital, then the hospital sent him to an inpatient program at a phyc facility. He was there one week. I was under the understanding he would return to rehab, turns out that he was drug tested at rehab he knew he would test positive so he faked the depression to get my sympathy. Of course he told me the rehab filled his spot so he had no where to go. I let him move in and 2 weeks later I found out about the positive testing. That is when we told him to leave. I dropped him off at a shelter one of the hardest things I have ever done. I still enabled him when he moved in to his own place. I am now in the midst of totally detaching, because I see no matter what my spouse or I have done has helped.It is far beyond our control. If he wants to go back in to rehab I will not call for him he needs to reach out for the help. We too lived in a rural area. He will make your living situation awful. If I were you I would
take him to a shelter. He has broken every one of your boundaries and will continue to do so. hugs and prayers
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lobo View Post
I am getting better at enforcing my boundaries. It does take time.
I smiled reading this because you see the growth in yourself, and you realize it does improve as time goes on.

Personally, I don't like feeling discomfort, and doing something new is very disconcerting and uncomfortable for me. Therefore, I give up too easily and fall back into my comfort zone because it's 'safe' and what I know.

I didn't truly start practicing tough love and letting go with my oldest until I had become so insane myself that I was standing on the verge of relapse. I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt from her addictions.

I can be of little use to anyone else if I am not taking care of self first.

Letting go doesn't mean not loving. Letting go says I love you enough to let you make your own choices and face the consequences.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Seacup, as a mom who let her own son come home far too many times, my heart and prayers go out to you.
Me too! Me too!

You will reach a point of "no more". We all do. Sometimes we slip too.
My son came to me for help numerous times, only to decline when the time
came to actually do something. ie: rehab.
It took my having him arrested for robbing my house and him spending 6 months behind bars for him to see that I just couldn't do the dance with him anymore.
I pray you hit your own rock bottom and soon. It's only going to get worse
until you turn him over to HP and start focusing on you.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Let Go and let him find his own way. It's hard, I know. I've been where your at. My heart goes out to you.
Sending up prayers for you and your son.
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Welcome to sober recovery. We haven't met yet. I have been around here for a pretty good while. Even though I don't have a child addict I have 3siblings and a husband and a mom who is the biggest enabler you have ever met in your life. So I am no stranger to addiction.

I know you you don't want to stir up a fuss but the sooner you do the better for all concerned. You could get the law involved the next time he tries to break in. Or you could tell him you want him to leave and have someone else around when you do. You could pack up his stuff and throw it out side. There are lots of things you could do to get him out. But you do have to be willing to let him suffer his consequences other wise he could run over you for the next 30-40 years making your life miserable. I ain't easy but the sooner you do something the better.((((BIGHUGS))))
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you are going through this.

Have you tried meetings? I know that face to face support, along with people on this board, helped me get to the place where I could set boundaries, healthy boundaries for me. There were tough decisions to be made, but guess what? AD survived them and really learned some lessons when this mama quit enabling. And boy did I enable. But I finally realized that when I was enabling, all I was doing was robbing my AD of the opportunity to learn responsiblity. And wasn't that what I was trying to grow her into, a responsible adult? Sure was. And as soon as that light came on, I began to be able to step back, let go and let God, and stay out of the way so her HP could get to her.

Prayers and hugs cause I know how hard it is being a mama in this situation.

Hangin' In
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:18 PM   #15 (permalink)

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Wow! Who would ever imagine sharing these feelings with a group of people that you know understand! Thank you so much! I dont know how far I am ready or able to go with this, but I wish myself the best. I am tired as I am sure you all know.
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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We can find strength in the most amazing places, can't we? Who would have ever thought that we would all be "linked" one day through computers? I hope you continue to post and read here, Seacup. I learned so many lessons so fast when I first found this site. I immediately stopped trying to "help" my unhappy son with money. This has been the best teacher for a parent of an addicted child. I had gone through an addictive relationship with a spouse, but hadn't fully accepted that my son was an addict until I saw him in everyone else's children on this forum. And because I had already known some truths about addiction and letting the addict own their own pain and consequences, I jumped to attention and began following the words of wisdom of others on here with more experience. There is no such thing in addiction as "Oh, that's not my child". The truth is, that's all our children. It reads like a codie manual here, for parents of addicted children. Do this; don't do that; all the stories are like one in the end.

I hope you find the strength and support here to do what is best for you, which in turn, could be what is also best for your son. It doesn't seem like it's true, that detaching is the right move, and it's terribly hard to watch them in pain due to their own mistakes. But I believe in the long run, it is a "gift" you can give them, to find their way on their own, when they are ready, which is when it will truly "take" and they will choose sobriety over drugs.
"Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, a loss of power, and a sense of spiritual deadness." - ****** Gawain
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Old 04-17-2008, 06:49 PM   #17 (permalink)

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So much great advice has already been given
I will add my prayers and a wish for you to find peace from this nightmare....

I too am a mom and I too let my son come home too many times...

finally (when I was ready) I drove him to a shelter instead....that was the beginning of his recovery (2 years next month!!)
he is clean and living in a sober house.....one day at a time

please know that you are not alone
many have walked and continue to walk the path you are on
we walk together

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Old 04-17-2008, 06:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Well hugs to you, because I think you really need some!

The hardest thing for us to do, is to let them go, and to trust that their H.P. has a plan for them apart from our enabling.

When you have had enough, and have hit your bottom, you will find a way for him to move out, and on with HIS life.
Regardless if it is an intervention, or giving him a time limit to leave, and calling the police.

Hugs to you, I know how hard it is.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons because, to them, you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

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