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58 year old mother of a 40 year old son

Old 12-26-2010, 05:46 PM
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58 year old mother of a 40 year old son

I am a 58 year old mother of a 40 year old alcoholic son. During his preteen and teen years I spent a tremendous amount of time with him at Dr's, psychiatrists and in court. When he turned 18 I honestly thought I was done because he was of age and it was all up to him now. Since then he has had a failed marriage and he has been homeless and without a job for a few years. He is not physically abusive but he says some very hurtful things to myself and his stepdad. We have tried everything we can think of to help him. The week before christmas he called every day drunk. He has always been welcome here so I asked my husband to ask him to please come here sober for the family dinner. He said that he would. He didn't. He made a complete fool of his self in a room full of sober people.Some of the family members have refused to come if he is here. I promised my granddaughter that he would be sober because he said he would. I called and apologized to her and found out that he started in on her about her dad. She won't be back if he is here. My thoughts now are to go to our local rescue mission and get him some information on what they have to offer. If he doesn't do what he needs to do for his self we are done. Has anyone else been through this with a grown son that could maybe give us some advice before we go that far?
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:54 PM
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Have you considered getting help for you and your husband?
You could go to an AlAnon meeting and talk to other parents whose children are mired in addiction.
coming here is a very good first step, there are many helpful people here who have been where you are.
I am deeply sorry for your pain. I have two children who are addicted but thankfully working a program right now. I can only take care of myself. They are adults.

There is also a very good book Codendent No More by Mellody Beattie.

Please read some of the stickies at the top of the forum and there will be more people along to support you.

Beth
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:09 PM
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Is your son disabled? Is there some reason why he can't find helpful services on his own? We cannot help someone who doesn't want help.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:29 PM
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Does your son live with you?
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:41 PM
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He is not disabled and we can't let him stay here with us the way he is. We went through all of this with him a week or so ago. We got him a much needed haircut and had him clean his self up. Then his excuse for not working was that he didn't have a state id. We got the information together for him and took him to get these things. He is living in a mans backyard in an abandoned van. We also got him a prepaid cell phone so that he could be reached for a job. As long as he is drinking he won't do these things for his self. I forgot to mention that after the holiday dinner we had words about him coming to our home in the condition he was in. The conversation ended with me asking him to leave and we haven't heard from him since.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:54 PM
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Welcome to the SR family!

I am glad you are here. Please make yourself at home by reading and posting as much as needed.

I am sorry that alcoholic behavior brought you here, and sorry that it made an appearance at your family holiday.

We understand what it feels like to have a loved one addicted to alcohol.

When I first came to SR and Alanon, I learned about the three C's of my loved ones addiction:

I did not Cause it
I could not Control it
I will not Cure it

It is harder than it appears. I was sure I could love my A (alcoholic) into sobriety. I just needed the right tools. I finally learned to detach and let the A take responsibility for their own life and their own addiction.

I now have tools to take better care of the only life I have control over: mine.

I have found lots of encouragement and wisdom in the permanent (sticky) posts at the top of the forum. Here is one of my favorites:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...l-problem.html
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:59 PM
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I've found that as long as I'm willing to do things for people that they are perfectly able to do for themselves, they will allow me to do them and they will feel no responsibility whatsoever. With all due respect, until your son decides to get help for his drinking problem, there will, in all likelihood, be no job and no desire to do even the basic things necessary for his own well-being. At 40 years old, he is well past the age where he should have learned long ago how to take care of himself. If he wants to live in an abandoned van in someone's back yard, then let him. He's an adult and if that's how he chooses to live, then it's his decision.

I know how hard it is to watch our children (even when they are far from being children) make bad choices, but, we cannot live their lives for them and we cannot control their decisions. We just drive ourselves crazy with worry and alienate other family members. Maybe it's time to let go and allow him to reach his own bottom.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:31 PM
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same planet...different world
 
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Hello Dyana -

I don't have personal experience on that line,

but wanted to stop in and welcome you to SR.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:44 PM
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You have a very real choice now..continue to "help"/enable a full grown adult who is choosing to not be in recovery, and losing family members.My husbands family made that choice..they haven't seen my kids in 15 years.So sad when this happens, but your son is quite capable of getting help is he so chooses. The more haircuts, rides, times he gets to come over fully loaded, the longer he is quite comfortable with being an active alcoholic. It's sad how others get neglected when all the focus is on the "sick" person..and it only makes the sick person worse.Setting boundaries and sticking to them can bring some serentity into your life regardless of whether your son is drinking or not.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:36 PM
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:38 AM
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Hi Dyana and welcome to our family

It's heartbreaking to read this. I have had to learn the hard way to detach from and let go of my alcoholic, but he is my husband. This is your son, so not taking care of him is contradictory to what you know you're suppose to be doing.

When he was a child, or young man, he needed your help. But what the others are saying is completely true-he is now an adult and is making his own choices.

The hardest lessen to learn is that there is nothing-absolutely nothing-you will be able to do to convince him to sober up. I think a lot of folks come here looking for help for a loved one, and find they can only help themselves-but believe it or not that is plenty. You can find peace by learning about alcoholism and yourself and how to heal yourself.

I will urge you to find al-anon meetings in your area and attend.

I also know there are plenty of other mothers of grown children with alcoholism here on this site and am sure they'll be along soon enough to give you first hand experience, strength and hope.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:22 AM
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When I first began to look at what I was doing and trying to draw the line with enabling it helped me to look at things this way.....

Are the things I am doing making it easier for him to keep drinking? If the answer was yes (and it usually was) then I stopped doing it.

Drinking results in certain consequences (no job, no place to live, no phone, lower standards of hygiene). If we mitigate those consequences then we make it easier for them to keep drinking. The alcoholic in my life was my husband. I can't imagine the heartbreak of being a parent of an alcoholic. I agree with the suggestion of al-anon. It helped me a lot.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:00 AM
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Didn't even mention that I am the mother of a 19 year old alcoholic/addict. I refused to allow active addiction in my home.She chose not to follow recovery and we kicked her out at 18.I went to alanon and did whatever they told me because my way WASN'T WORKING. I stopped "helping" her live that life in any way.On the advice of my sponsor i backed off and let her wallow in her addiction.Eventually, she wanted recovery for herself..she says the best thing we ever did was go to Alanon because now I have strong boundaries and am not easily manipulated..yes she actually likes that because my not enabling is the best thing for HER recovery.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:14 PM
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Hello Dyana just checking in seeing how you are today?
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:52 PM
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Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and helpful words. I do know in my heart what I need to do but doing it won't be easy. The next hurdle I'll need to jump or should I say battle is I'll need to fight will be everyone that wants to make me the bad guy. I will be told that I have deserted him and he needs what ever help I can give him. I feel like I am carrying a huge weight and I really need it to lighten up.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:27 PM
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Hello there this is a great place for support and insight. I feel very much for you, the addict in my life was my husband, I hope I never know the pain that having an addicted child must bring.

Re the judgements of others, there are those who may think unkindly of your actions, I've been guilty of it in the past, but it really is none of their business, and if you need a reply to this sort of interfering:

I will be told that I have deserted him and he needs what ever help I can give him.
you could point out that you have been doing this for 22 years of his adult life without it making a difference, and with it risking your health and relationships with others you care about you have decided to allow him the dignity of making his own choices in life however much that pains you.

that would have stopped me in my tracks and I've been a world-class know it all when it comes to other people's lives.

((Hugs)), none of this is what we dreamed, or easy, I can hear your exhaustion and pain, and I wish you some peace. Finding others in the same situation helped me find some peace, I hope it does for you too.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:33 PM
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you will find lots of support on here and at alanon...don't let others perceptions get in the way of your recovery.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:50 PM
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AL ANON! and more AL ANON!! if you dont remember anything: Remember the 3C's... they do the world of GOOD!!

HI *waves*
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:39 AM
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I am so glad I found my way here. I have read and read and see that I am not alone. Awhile back my son got into a fight and the other person broke his jaw. He refused to go for medical treatment. It became infected and he was very ill. He finally went to the hospital. The infection spread through his body and he could have died. He was in the hospital for a week (the poor nurses). He needed to have antibiotics through his arm for a month. They wanted to put him in the medical rehab so this could be done. My husband brought him here instead. The nurse came and taught us to do this daily. He couldn't chew and needed special food. My daughter took care of that for him. We gave him a comfortable place to stay and paid for his medications. I told him we didn't want him to bring any alcohol here and he did it anyway. That was a long 30 days. When he took his last dose of medicine we took his things back to his van. When we got there he was drunk and furious with us. This has happened a number of times and I couldn't understand why after we have done so much to help him. I have read other posts and now see that he was and still does transfer the blame for the life he has chosen on us. He is angry with us for not moving him here and taking care of his every need. I am checking into Alanon meetings and hope to start going after the first of the year. Thank you again everyone for your caring and understanding.
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:35 AM
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Don't Let Your Kids Kill You and Codependant No More (books) plus Alanon meetings and this site have helped me tremendously. I also get alot out of watching Intervention because it shows the manipulation and enabling so clearly..and how the families are not helping.They say most addicts cannot live that lifestyle very long without people helping them..struck a chord with me...
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