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I threw my son out.....

Old 01-15-2011, 09:40 AM
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I threw my son out.....

I had enough. He's an alcoholic who doesn't want help. Up to six months ago he held a job, had his own apartment and roommate. Last summer, financial problems were escalating and we talked with him about moving home. He never did. We had no idea how out-of-hand his drinking had become at this point. He hit a bottom (but apparently not HIS bottom) three months ago when he was arrested for drunk driving. He was driving to work and arrested in his employers parking lot. He blew a .34! He spend the night in jail and had a friend pick him up and bring him here to me the next day. Of course we tucked him in here and got him to a therapist and straightened out the issues with his job (which he was able to keep and is still working there, although how successfully I don't know). He went to court, got his suspension and fine and finally started paying some bills after we budgeted him. The trips to the therapist didn't last long..he felt he knew everything she was telling him...basically he was drinking to mask his depression over his bills and his situation. He never did follow thru on getting his work driving permit...why I don't know. He continued to pay his roommate rent and utilities because he thought it was only fair to the roommate. This of course meant that me and his father got nothing towards his upkeep but their lease is up on April 1st and we thought as long as he helped with chores and food, it'd be OK. We certainly have our own financial problems and didn't need another mouth to feed. My ONE rule for him to live here was not to drink.

Of course he drank. The first three weeks were good, but then he had an all night bender. Another night when he puked all over the bathroom and left it there. Threats and more threats and he moved himself to a more central location in the house so he would feel "monitored". All that did was make him hide it better. I'd say these past few weeks his drinking has escalated back up to 4 times a week. Him thinking he's being sneaky and me knowing he's doing it. Funny how you learn the behaviors associated with his drinking. Finally, on Thursday, he drank enough to pass out (before noon) and then attempt to drive to work. WTF. EXACTLY what he did 3 months ago. I work from home and I had to interrupt MY job for three hours to deal with him. A screaming match ensued and I told him he had to leave. He accused me of abandoning him and writing him off. He was to go home to his apartment after work and not return here. By this point he was already 2 1/2 hrs late for work, but sobered up. When I woke up the next morning I saw that he had snuck back in here late at night.

Yesterday, he did the usual "I'm sorry" I won't do it again", tried to offer me his drivers license so he can't buy alcohol. I held my ground and told him to leave. I have two other children here (12 and 9) and a professional job from home. I can't monitor his every move and constantly follow him to see what he's drinking or where he's hiding his bottle. I explained this to him and told him that if I always protect him from the consequences of what he's doing, he'll never learn. He told me I was sending him back to "hell" and that he hoped he drank himself to death. He told me how "happy" he was here and how much better he felt and I explained that really nothing had changed..he was still doing the same behaviors but this time dragging us all into it. He wouldn't speak to me when he packed up and left.

So here I am. I'm worried sick. I'm waiting for the phone to ring with someone telling me he's dead or in jail or fired from his job or homeless or whatever. God only knows what his roommate is going to put up with. I know in my heart of hearts that this is what needs to be done. I know I can't save him from himself and the longer I protect him the longer he doesn't have to deal with it. I can't stop thinking about him or worrying about him. This was truely the hardest thing I've ever had to do and I still can't believe I did it.

I just need to vent this somewhere. I have been second guessing myself since he walked out the door. Maybe he can come back if I take his debit card? Maybe this, maybe that.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:45 AM
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Lilly, welcome to SR. You are in a good place for support. You'll find many fans of Al Anon (including me), and lots of experience in very similar situations.

Please take good care of yourself. Sounds like you are doing what is best for all of your children, including the drinker. Thank goodness you are looking after the young ones.

Good luck, keep coming back.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:49 AM
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Thanks trapeze...I'm looking forward to the support, I really need it! Right now I'm still pissed off but I can see my thoughts all keep going back to what can I do FOR him. Yeesh.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:52 AM
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I'm sorry for you that it had to come to that but perhaps it's for the best, sometimes tough love is the best medicine.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:04 AM
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Taking his debit card is a good idea, however, it would probably not work. He would find a way to get booze. Alcoholics are some of the sneakiest people on Earth. I don't believe that he "sobered up" that day in 2 hours when he drove to work. If he blew a .34 on his DUI he is a serious alcoholic.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Justfor1 View Post
Taking his debit card is a good idea, however, it would probably not work. He would find a way to get booze. Alcoholics are some of the sneakiest people on Earth. I don't believe that he "sobered up" that day in 2 hours when he drove to work. If he blew a .34 on his DUI he is a serious alcoholic.
I hear you loud and clear on both issues. I know that I can't micro-manage him. Hell, I can't micro-manage MYSELF...I am far from perfect when it comes to paying bills and budgeting. The questions and mistrust would remain. Did he give me his whole check? Would he steal from me? Would he borrow money to buy alcohol? One thing this three months has taught me is that he'll do just about anything and run over anyone to drink. Biting the hand that feeds him. I don't want to be more pissed off at him then I already am. I don't want to keep getting sucked back into this. I have others living here that I have to protect. I feel like I did a Sophie's choice...and I'll never live with myself if something happens to Mark.

He has a serious tolerance. I bet he's gone thru a a bottle of whiskey in a 24hr period here in my house! That's what he was drinking the night he binged here. In my nursing experience, we were always told that whatever the alcoholic admitted to drinking daily, we were to double that....the bottle I took from him that night was almost empty and he told me he had it for a week...so probably really less then a few days.

Should I have let him go to work Thursday...I don't know. At that point, I just wanted it done...my boss is screaming about coming into a meeting and my other kids are going to be home from school soon.

I am not a patient woman when it comes to this type of behavior. I have zero tolerance for self-destruction. I know I can take too hard of a line too, but I am what I am. Sometimes I think I could write the book on tough love.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:51 AM
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Glad you are here. I would recommend reading the posties at the top of the forum. The more you learn and understand the better choices you can make.

I hear you frustration and it is common experience. I went through it for too long. Taking things away doesn't usually work. But the kids and I often reached for the keys as a bottom line. I thought if he wanted to walk to the bar and back - he was less likely to hurt someone else. I couldn't control whether or not he hurt himself.

What helped me in the long run was setting reasonable and rational limits with him. In other words, I couldn't expect him to stop drinking while drunk - but I didn't have to stick around while he was doing it. I carried a list of motels and a packed bag in my car. I had a friend who offerred her home or couch whenever. My kids had their father's apt or friends at any time. So, I got to be safe or at least a break when needed.

I also learned that I could keep doing things I thought were good for us all without interference from his threats because he either would adjust or leave. So I stopped being afraid. These things seemed to be the only things that penetrated his behavior, unfortunately it would never last.

Do what you can to take care of yourself, stay safe and get support.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:06 AM
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Very difficult for you. I really feel for you. Hang in there and know that he must live his own life now.... Let go and Let God. Stay strong.
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:19 AM
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Thank you so much Kassie and CSH, your support really helps. I'll head to the posts at the top.

Kassie, I'm so glad you found ways to keep your family safe and sane. That's my next step obviously.

My younger children had a rough evening yesterday, asked TONS of questions and I honestly answered them. I don't want them to ever think that if they ever got into trouble that I would kick them out or that this is a usual "punishment". I kept out the gory details, but I think it's important they understand the consequences of Mark's behavior. They actually knew way more then I thought they did...little pitchers with big ears and all that.

Today they have both re-claimed their space. Mark ended up taking my daughters room when he tried to centralize himself and she's pleased as punch to have it back. I'm happy for her. I'm happy to get MY space back. Regardless of my worry and concern and mood, the house seems to be moving forward again. Well...outside of the fact that I can't seem to get anything else done or thought of besides MARK
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:39 AM
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How old is your son?
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Old 01-15-2011, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by FindingPeace1 View Post
How old is your son?
He will be 28 next month.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:14 PM
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Welcome to the forum, (again)
I hope you find the support you need here!

I like how no matter what age they are
we're 'leaving them out to die'
like we're dropping them into Anarctica
with nothing but a pocket knife and a space blanket.

Sounds to me like you did the right thing.

If that's any help.
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:18 PM
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Hi Lilly .... I'm a recovering alcoholic (19+ years) and can tell you that an alcoholic will drink as long as possible. An active alcoholic is like this: enormous ego, low self-esteem, self-centered in the extreme and grandiose. When there's no exit, no place to turn, no money left, we'll stop, at least temporarily. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you but you sound like a very strong wise person. I hope your son sobers up long enough to realize how lucky he is to have you for a mom.
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:19 PM
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Thanks Barb...I think I did find the support I was looking for. I pray every moment it was the right thing to do. I mean...I KNOW it was, I just need to see results NOW, LOL! Amen about the Anarctica comment! When he said I was sending him to Hell, I was like...Ummm, I'm sending you back to your own apartment, NOT the streets for crying out loud! I think my wording was along the lines of "if you're going to continue to drink, then just go home and drink all you want...no need to hide around doing it here". Oh well. I can't rationalize anything to him right now and I accept that.

NYC, congrats!! I hope to hear my son udder those words one day. You described him as he is to a tee. He's really a wonderful guy. I can't emphasize that enough. He's normally caring and good, had a lot of friends...he had a really good life going....and now it's going right down the crapper. He admits he has no control, but just shrugs his shoulders when I asked him what he's going to do about it. He doesn't want help because HE KNOWS IT ALL already. Thank you for the kind words. I feel like a mess right now, but the house has taken a whole new level of calm.
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:48 PM
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WOW Rayn...just WOW! I'd ask you more but I know he hasn't had a girlfriend in several years, LOL! Another sign of his drinking habit I suppose....

Thanks for the support....honestly this is the hardest thing I've done to one of my kids. I HAVE been in denial much of this last three months. I had myself convinced he wasn't an actual ALCOHOLIC and that he was just drinking to medicate himself. I was wrong. Watching him walk out the door, knowing I'm sending him out to Lord-knows-what, killed me. Our final conversation was him saying "I'm not saying anything to make you or Dad feel better" and my response "I'm not asking you too". I didn't even get a chance to tell him that I'm here when he decides to sober up and get help. I think he knows that, but he was angry. Maybe in a few days he'll call.

I watch enough "Intervention" and have been a nurse long enough to have seen a lot. I know how alcoholics work and how they burn people out. I've seen enough end-stage alcoholism in the hospital to make me sick. I pray and pray he doesn't ever get to that pont but really, who's to say?
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Old 01-16-2011, 03:58 PM
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With all due respect Rayn, I agree with everything but this and feel the need to point it out, for Lilly's sake:

she seems completely incapable of recognizing the irreparable damage she is doing by not only tolerating but in some ways facilitating his addiction
.

Honestly, we are just not that powerful. I caanot agree that a mother's enabling creates irreperable damage. These are GROWN MEN we are talking about here, not infants.

Lilly, it feels counterintuitive but you did the right thing. Remember the three Cs: you did not cause it, you cannot cure it, and you cannot control it. IMO the mostzloving thing we can do for our loved ones is take the best possible care of ourselves as we can, and let them find their own way. Allow him the dignity to sink or swim on his own. (((hugs)))
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:19 PM
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Rayn, I'm hanging in there. I truly enjoyed the peace and quiet today and look forward to a work week with no interruptions at home! He has been texting his sister and replying to IM's to his brother so I know he's safe. His roommate, whom I'm friends with on fb, posted a status update that left me thinking he's given my son a talking-to and maybe even an ultimatum...not sure and I'm not asking! If he loses this apartment, he's screwed, but I know I can't stop it. I'm not sure how heathly it is for me to sneak around on fb to spy after him but it's all I have right now. My tired old brain keeps rolling back to the happy and fun Mark. I'll try contacting him tomorrow. Thank you for checking in!

L2L, thank you, thank you, you made me tear up with the dignity part. You are completely right. LOVE the three C's! He has not lead a charmed life...most of it caused by me (I was a teenaged mother and he was my baby with no dad in the picture...it was many years to any kind of stable life). But in the end I made his life as good as I could and gave him a wonderful stepfather for the last 16 years...so....what he does with that is his business.

He knows his dad is going out of town all this week for his job...not sure if he'll try to worm him way back in or not. I think not. I think he's very mad at me.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:35 PM
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We had to "let go" of the "baby" of our family when he was about 35. We were certain he would be dead within a year. Did he sink? Hell yeah. Before all was said and done, he was getting beat up by drug dealers, sent to the hospital, going to jail, homeless living in a tent, you name it. He's got permanent scars from shooting up street drugs, whatever he could get. I can't tell you how much cash he blew through. Could I have prevented any of it? Maybe. Does it make me angry? Yes. Am I glad I did it? Yup. Because by the grace of God, he hit his rock bottom and his Higher Power built a stairway for him to climb out. Had I never let go, had I continued to enable and provide for him, and give him a soft place to land, I doubt he would have hit his bottom. Yes, it is very difficult to watch your loved one sink. The only way I know to avoid that is to turn my head so that I cannot see.

Work on losing the guilt Lilly, that's my advice for you. Because this is not your fault. This is SO much bigger than ANY of us.
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:49 AM
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Well, it's a week now since the fight and tomorrow will be a week since I told him to leave. He has touched base with all his siblings, but continues to ignore me and his father. We're not sure if he's still drinking or not. His 22 year old brother asked him how it was going earlier this week and he promptly stopped answering texts once the conversation went to alcohol use!

I feel about the same...surprisingly still angry when I re-live the situation. I'm still extremely worried about this whole process of letting him hit bottom....I keep reflecting on what will happen to him if he loses his job, his apartment, his friends, etc, etc. While my brain completely understands the need to let him experience these consequences on his own, my "mom" side of the brain isn't comprehending how he'll ever recovery to sobriety and a good life if I only let it get worse.

I'm kind of starting to feel like this whole 3 C's process is really just a good way for me to ignore the situation. I have the 12 steps in front of me at all times (including on my phone!) and I think I have a great handle on #1...but after that ????

I can't get past that I'm leaving him "hang out to dry"...and I'm not being supportive. Well, he won't take my calls anyway, so I guess that's a mute point. And I'm also having trouble understanding his anger towards me. Maybe he needs a scapegoat for all this and if his life really does go into the crapper, will he EVER be able to speak with me again? or will he always hold me responsible for this?

My thoughts of the day
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:00 AM
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I know how hard it is not to feel guilty, but he's is approaching 30 years old. It's past time for him to figure out how to live life without his mother there to hold his hand. He's just doing what addicts do. Yes, you are the scapegoat because you made a decision to stop enabling him. He'll either decide to get help for his addiction or he won't. It has nothing at all to do with you.

Hang in there and keep taking care of yourself and the children you have that still need your help. He can figure out things on his own and probably will once he's sick and tired of being sick and tired.
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