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A long road - Part 1

Old 06-10-2014, 08:13 AM
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A long road - Part 1

My son is an alcoholic, of that I am sure, finally.

Yesterday was his birthday. 42 years old. I hate to admit some things, it is embarrassing to admit how much I enable him. He lives with me, because no one else wants to have him around. He is jobless, no transportation, and I believe a mental disorder to go with it. He has always been the most argumentative person I have ever known. Lets just say only a mother would want to sacrifice her peace for this guy.

He does not drink, unless he gets work. He never asks for a thing. except maybe tobacco money when he is out. smokeless tobacco now. at least that's a good thing for his health, and my safety. lol at least I know he isn't lighting up cigs in his room drunk, when he does drink. best investment for my peace of mind , so far... I say so far, because I want him out, some how, some way. for me, for him.

He went to his friends this weekend. his best friend since childhood. they are like bro's. and I am glad he has a friend. he burned all other bridges, long ago.

I bought him some new shoes, as he has a job interview this week. and a pair of nice shorts, to replace his raggedy ones. about 85 bucks worth. I do the same for all of my kids, on their birthdays.

He came home last evening. He was pretty much stoned, I can tell. He appreciated the gifts, but they were the wrong sizes. So I was going to exchange them today, for the right sizes.

my daughter was talking with me today, about how we can't even plan for my grandbabies to stay overnight, tonight. I do often keep them when he is not working or drinking. he has no way to get stuff other wise.

I tried not to engage him on the subject, but I did go ahead and ask him if he was going to be doing either, as I wanted to make plans for my grandbabies to stay. He got all incensed over it, how can his sisters be hypocrites, they drink, (moderately), etc etc. would not even give me a straight answer... he is the king of evasive, non-committal answers. about everything. whether he likes this kind of food, this hat, this person,etc.

anyway, I know he wont pass the drug test, if he even gets considered for the job. I wont let him use my truck to get there, as I dont know if he would be smoking pot or not. I would take him, however. I dont know why I bother anymore, I have no hopes that his jobs will work out. I do not encourage him anymore either. it only leads to him drinking up his first paycheck. a binge of sorts, albeit he does not get crazy drunk anymore. just drinks quietly till its gone.

I know he has anxiety. He has depression. He has nothing , at his age, even though it is his fault, which he will argue til the cows come home. I dont even argue with him anymore.

I did send him the sticky from SR on what alcohol does to the body and brain. he did not know all that, and he seemed to appreciate my doing that, for some reason. Actually, he said it made him feel better, as he did not drink like that anymore. He is in denial about what alcohol has done to his life.

I know that his issues have a lot to do with it too, though. He has so much anxiety, he makes me a nervous wreck, when he is all anxious about something. I understand why he self medicates. but it will kill him, and its not doing a lot for me, either.

I put him out once, he went to a shelter, and it did open his eyes for a second. but a friend took him in, and then when that friend could take no more, he had no where to live. I took him in, and he promised to get help. He did go to a counselor and a diagnostic therapist (?) and they said situational depression. I know he understated his drinking to them. no doubt at all about that . he always does. I could watch him drink a whole bottle of booze, fall down and he would still say he wasn't that drunk. dont they all say that sort of stuff?

anyway, today I am taking back the birthday stuff, and keeping my money. And I will tell him why. NO job, no need for shoes.. he has good enough ones to sit around in. I need better ones for work, myself.

I don't feel like I have gotten very far in my recovery from codependency. I only fear putting out my son onto the street and he does not have the sense God gave a lemon, as someone I know likes to say.

I only wish he would swallow his pride enough to go and get disability for his mental issues and he would probably qualify for rental help. and medicines for his disability of anxiety and depression. but it is not the sort of buzz he wants..... thats what it boils down to, I think.

Sometimes it is months between times he drinks. he never steals from me nor asks me for money for booze, like he used to. so that is progress. a teensy bit of it. but still , he is getting no where. he blames the economy, and/ or anything else he can.

I hope to get better at this. stronger, and hopefully somehow force him to get help, without causing him to end up in a more dangerous situation. The fear I have has a grip on my brain, and its strong. I dont know how to overcome it.

Thanks for listening. I hope this helps someone else, and not hurts by showing how little strength I have garnered so far.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:18 AM
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Awww, chic. ((((HUGS))))
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:06 AM
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Chic, please don't be so hard on yourself. I have no experience dealing with an addict that is my child, and I think those of you that do face some very unique circumstances compared to the rest of us. Detaching from your child is not at all the same as detaching from a spouse or partner or dear friend. It's not a "replaceable" relationship in the way that a marriage or partnership can be..... our children are our children forever & always. I have absolutely NO CLUE how I would handle something like this with DD... none. But just because you don't feel like you are a rocking success at this moment in your recovery doesn't make you a failure either.

I hope that things work out so that you can enjoy your grandkids this weekend & focus on all the positive & wonderful things & people in your life. ((((((HUGS)))))) Sending you lots of ~~~~serenity vibes~~~~~~ today!


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Old 06-10-2014, 09:09 AM
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(((hugs))) chic.

I don't claim to know how I would handle a child with addiction issues. My sponsor's son was a heroin addict who has now been clean for I think 3 years. To me, her situation was always more frightening than my own -- because a spouse, if you are able to take a step back, is not someone you need or have any real responsibility for. You can replace one spouse with another, to be crass. Not so with a child.

It sounds like mental illness may be more of a problem than addiction for your son, huh? "Situational depression" sounds like a copout to me -- yeah, he was homeless but that wasn't the cause of his depression; the causality was the other way round.

I know how difficult it is to find good mental health care, even if you are actively looking. Are you taking care of yourself, chic?
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:13 AM
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Chicory---I want to ask you a question....which will probably will seem out of left field for you. When one sees someone who is without mental disabilities (anxiety and depression are not mental disabilities) and is performing way below their abilities--adhd should always be ruled out...because most of adult add or adhd goes undiagnosed--they are often just judged to be unmotivated, lazy, stupid or stubborn. They should o nly be diagnosed by someone who specializes in this area.

I just had to ask......

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Old 06-10-2014, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by chicory View Post
I put him out once, he went to a shelter, and it did open his eyes for a second.
First of all, SO sorry for your situation. But ^^ stood out to me. I am all about consequences and until there are some, why should he change? And the shoes thing? Next he'll blame you that the reason he's not working is because of you and his lack of shoes!
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:13 AM
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No, Refiner - I think he'll be much more likely to use the shoes/shorts return as something that pains him since they were a birthday gift.

I'm so sorry Chicory.....I can see how stuck you must feel in this.
Beyond literally forcing him to go to a office to get benefits, apply for disability and food stamps and insurance.....am not sure how he's going to do it on his own after this much time.

(((((you deserve peace))))))))
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:17 AM
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Dear Chicory, I certainly understand your sadness and fear. We, too, are very reluctant to cut off our drinking/drugging 24 yo son. I don't even know what I'm so afraid of... maybe that he'll just play it out to the end of the string now, maybe that he'll wind up in a venue (e.g. jail, the homeless shelter) where he can't defend himself, maybe who knows? Yet intellectually I also know that when someone's back is against the wall, usually they DO figure out a way to get through.

I think what both of us have to do is weigh out whether what we think we are doing "for" the addict is really what we are doing "to" the addict. I think it's possible, at least for me and maybe also for you, that fear is prohibiting us from taking the appropriate step here. We have been told, even though our son has serious medical problems, that he probably won't get better until he has to, and that he won't have to, while he's with us. We have the peace of mind, such as it is, when he's under our roof, that he's not out sleeping under a bridge, but then we also have the sickening feeling of time and opportunities slipping away, while he ROTS under our roof.

I also feel like, I need to get myself out of the cycle of endless complaining about his horrible behavior, while simultaneously doing nothing to change my own life.

It is very, very hard, and I would be the last person to make a snap judgment around your situation or try and tell you what to do. My one consolation in the past few weeks' turmoil and crisis is that my husband is finally, finally coming to be on the same page with me about what needs to happen with our son. I think making an excruciating decision like this will be much easier if we make it together.

Just as a final thought, if you did ask your son to leave, that would not mean you would refuse to ever speak to or interact with him again. It doesn't mean he's "dead to you," it would just mean that he's no longer your responsibility. Most of us ARE our own responsibility, we came to it organically as we grew up, but some folks apparently need a "bright line" division at some point in their lives.

Okay lots of good positive energy coming both our ways today!

Jane
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Old 06-10-2014, 11:01 AM
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hugs Chic.....as i've said before, you have more power than you think you do. You make it very easy for him to do NOTHING.

it might be time to draw the line in the sand and mean it. I'm sure that he has more sense than God gave a lemon, he's got you supporting him.

Either he applies for state help or out. he has nothing, he will work. He can't live his life without his internet connections.

I would draw up something in writing, listing what you require for him to be living there. If he does not comply within 3 weeks, pack a garbage bag of his stuff, give him a prepaid cheap cell phone, change the locks.

he is killing YOUR happiness.
(and i know how hard it is to be hard on the kids don't I)?
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:54 PM
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My parents have enablde my brother in his disease all his adult life. They were always so afraid of all the "what ifs" that they never expected more of him. Each time he got in a pickle, they threw the net under him to get him out of it. He lived with them on and off most of his life, and has been there full time now for the last 10 years. My Mom comes up with all kinds of reasons for why she buys things, drives him around, etc. They walk on egg shells sometimes just so they don't upset him.

I know they love him, and they think that what they do is all about love. But he is now 51 years old....they are in their 80's. He is no closer to an independent life than the day he moved back in 10 yrs ago. How have they helped him in the end? What happens when they're gone? They don't have anything, so there will be no sudden windfall. As lovetohikect said...he has been allowed to rot under their roof. Whatever chance he had at a real life, had he been forced to deal with consequences, is pretty much gone. He is depressed, and hates his life. They have had no peace in their life.

Don't be my parents. Go to AlAnon, learn the tools and get the support to make truly healthy choices for you and your son.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:44 PM
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first off, thank you time and replies and hugs.

Lillamy, and Dandylion, I do feel mental issues are at play overall, in his problems.
It may be necessary for me to insist that he get evaluated, again. Its not easy
to make him do anything. I have no other support, as in boy friend or
husband, to help 'motivate' him to do as I ask.
I have always wondered about ADHD honestly. He is so proud and stubborn. would not
consider it, to save his life.
I've seen him work hard, he is super talented in computer, and
could do good things, if he believed in hisself and was not depressed.

Refiner, Yes, you are right. consequences are a natural motivation
for humans. He has shoes, but he will probably blame me,
because I wont let him use my truck... if
he even goes to the interview tomorrow.
He wont mention the shoes, the gifts. I hurt for taking them back,
and will get him something else, but today, I was just angry, at his lack of normal thinking.

Lethe, It will probably be that.. forcing him to do something.
He did get obama care insurance. He was getting food stamps
but will not go and do the occasional work program for them, and lost
his food stamps... too proud.

I do want peace. I think that is why I let the situation
stand as it is.. it is more peaceful to know where he is sleeping
and that he is eating, than to hope he can survive on the street.

lovetohikect, dear heaven, this is me...

"We have the peace of mind, such as it is,
when he's under our roof, that he's not out
sleeping under a bridge, but then we also
have the sickening feeling of time and
opportunities slipping away, while he ROTS
under our roof."

I grieve each day, because of this. I wish I had
some support in this, too, as in a husband. his dad is useless.
and lives far away and will not help. of course, if he did,
it would not be much better than what I am doing, in
not making him do something for hisself.

My son knows how much I love him. we are really close.
he would not blame me, after it was said and done, I know.
when he was in the shelter, he often apologized for
putting me in the position of having to grieve
over him being there.
thanks for the positive vibes. I hung onto them today.

Fandy, I wish I could find my power, I swear to God, I do. I feel so weak, and
so frustratingly powerless. I dont know why.

You are right. he loves his internet. but I remember
a time when he sat in his friends vacant and cold trailer,
with no food , no heat, no internet and just huddled
under a blanket and played games on the computer- the kind you dont
need internet for. he was in his early thirties then,
and I and my husband at the time went and got him..
I think he would have starved. really.

Fandy I just don't know how to do it. it breaks my heart.
applying for state help, do you mean filing for disability?

Recovering2, this makes me ill, to read. I have read
others stories like this. It is exactly what I do not
want for him.
I tried to find al-anon in my area, we don't have any
close by. online is my only option and the one I tried was sort
of strange feeling. I would do anything to get the wisdom
and courage to do the right things, though. that is why I am here.

thank you all. I wish I could keep my head out of the
sand. when things go smoothly here, it is
so easy to put off doing the right things.
I have been so used to turmoil and dysfunction all my life
that moments of peace are enough it seems.

I just told him that I took his things back, but that they did not have the right sizes. He said, dont worry mom, just get some food with the money. He is not selfish. He wants things, a home, family, but cannot do the things he needs to do, to get them. I do not know if he drinks to self medicate, or if he drinks because he can't not drink when he has money. probably both.
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Old 06-10-2014, 06:45 PM
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I do agree, chicory that a re-evaluation might be a good idea because there could also be other possibilities---like asberger's (sp?) syndrome, in addition to ADHD---I don't have the advantage of knowing more than you have written---- but, there does seem like there might be other things going on. A diagnosis would make it so much easier to get help.

Maybe the services of a mental health social worker could help to guide you, right now.
I, myself, know how hard this is to go alone. f

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Old 06-10-2014, 07:11 PM
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Chic, I know your pain and don't have any quick fix answers. What if you insisted he apply for assistance or disability?

I don't know your relationship with him too well, but can you insist he be evaluated and get some help...while still living under your roof?

If he can get help and financial assistance with food and housing, then maybe the next step would be for him to move some place he could manage.

Forgive me if I over simplify a complicated issue, I just would love to see this all work out without breaking your heart.

You are both in my prayers every day. I hope that somehow he is willing to get some help.

Hugs
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:15 PM
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I found a lot of hope and wisdom in these boards. Dealing with an alcoholic isn't always black and white.
And then, some A's have underlying health issues like ADHD and depression. Chronic illness like lyme disease can also cause low energy and anxiety.
Chicory, I hope the best for you and your son. It's good that he has insurance and can maybe look more deeply into his health issues.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:43 PM
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You all are helping, by letting me share things which I don't feel proud of sharing, and being supportive.

I have been here a while now, and have survived some rough times, with your support.
I know I have not taken some advice, but I do take it in, and it stays in my mind.

Aspbergers has been in my mind. He seems to have some of those symptoms. actually , his best friend is an Asbie, and they are a lot alike.

I will contact mental health social works, and see if I can talk to someone. Its hard to find someone good in our podunk town.

prayers are appreciated.

hugs
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:30 AM
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Chic, I say this gently, you know I care about you. You are not qualified to dx him. You are too close, you are manipulated and you are "The Mama".
You might start looking for help and inside information at your own physician's office. Your primary care doc has resources, his nursing staff, they refer people. You just have to tell them what you told us.
I don't know your son, but from my point of vision, you need to cut the umbilical cord. He can't grow without falling...it seems you are wearing yourself to a frazzle running around carrying a mattress to cushion his falls. His issues are stealing your happiness, you can't have your grandchildren for a sleepover without jumping through hoops. That is ridicules.
See if there is a behavioral health division in your county? I will try to check on how it works from my state once I get to work....I don't deal with that too much, but I know where to look.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Fandy View Post
Chic, I say this gently, you know I care about you. You are not qualified to dx him. You are too close, you are manipulated and you are "The Mama".
You might start looking for help and inside information at your own physician's office. Your primary care doc has resources, his nursing staff, they refer people. You just have to tell them what you told us.
I don't know your son, but from my point of vision, you need to cut the umbilical cord. He can't grow without falling...it seems you are wearing yourself to a frazzle running around carrying a mattress to cushion his falls. His issues are stealing your happiness, you can't have your grandchildren for a sleepover without jumping through hoops. That is ridicules.
See if there is a behavioral health division in your county? I will try to check on how it works from my state once I get to work....I don't deal with that too much, but I know where to look.

(((Fandy)))We do have a behavioral health dept. He went there for evaluation , twice. They told him situational depression. He could have gotten counselling. but I cannot physically force him. He shuts the door in my face if I try.
I would have to go through process to have him evicted. And then he would have no where to go. No car to even stay in.

It is very hard to make someone leave when all they want is a tiny room to hide in. You would not even know he is here, almost. even when he drinks.

I just want him to get help and have a life, as there is no peace for me with him wasting away under my roof.

I do believe as you say, I have more power than I think. If I insist he work, he will just drink here. If I threaten him to leave if he drinks, it is a matter of eviction. If I evict him, he will be in the street. I dont think that would be the answer , honestly. He needs help with his issues.

I think I will have to somehow insist he get counselling. take away internet services, thats where my power lays, because that is his life, his social life, his interests, and he is up all night on the computer. He has quite a complex circle of stuff going on there.

I just feel hopeless. But there has to be something that can be done. He ignores me when I try to talk about it. shuts me out. asks how it can be so much to ask for one room to live in. he has lost sight of normalcy, if he ever understood it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:23 AM
  # 18 (permalink)  
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I hear you....a rock and a hard place...but I agree that his social networking via online is your power.
And if he has that removed, it might motivate him. But you cant back down, you were going to insist on this 3 months ago.
Library has free internet with a 30 minute limit in my town.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:02 AM
  # 19 (permalink)  
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Chicory--I went on line looking for help in OHIO. I suggest that you contact the

Ohio Dept. of Developmental Disabilities
and

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council

There is also a published handbook of services for developmental disabilities that one of them publishes.

I think if you keep your quiries to the category of developmental disabilities (of some kind?)--it throws open a wider door for help than to just mention alcoholism or anxiety/depression. Tell them that there is something wrong since birth and you need help!

He might even qualify for residential care if he gets a diagnosis!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chicory--knowledge is power. Often people never get the help that is out there because they don't know where to go to get or identify the help.

I think you will have to be prepared to do a lot of calling and knocking on doors---and resist as much as you possibly can--of being discouraged.

There are also support groups for you---but, it sure does help to get that diagnosis, first.

You can find info. on the organizations that I listed by doing a simple google search.

This would be a starting point.

I hope that this is of some help to you, Chicory.

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Old 06-11-2014, 07:36 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
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Thank you Dandylion! how kind of you to do that.
I will copy these and start making calls.

He would be super offended if he knew I was doing this.. but he has something going on, or he would have had at least one place on his own, in his adult life.

It hurts to even think it, but if it makes his life better someday, it will be worth any trouble.

many thanks again, and hugs,
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