ready to throw in the towel

Old 05-04-2007, 09:13 AM
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ready to throw in the towel


I am in a bad place now and am feeling so low. My RAS invited me over yesterday to see their baby. The visit went fairly well until as I was leaving the living room I saw a book he had been reading......the title was Toxic Parents. I dd not mention anything or react at all but now I am hurt beyond belief. Maybe I am wearing my feelings on my shoulders. Maybe the book hits too close to home.

All that I know is that I have supported him in his recovery. I have been there when most other parents would have said, no more. I just wonder what to do, what to feel. I am not going to address the book because he is now six months clean and he is attending meetings, and acting responsible. I understand he can certainly read any material he wants but the bottom line is that seeing that title really hurt me. I guess I just want to know that someone out there understands.

Also the book was out there in plain view. I did not snoop. But when I saw it well it was like someone slapped me. I really feel like giving up at this point. dixie
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:17 AM
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I have books with all kinds of titles dealing with difficult teenagers, difficult daughters, etc. I get these kinds of books because I am not only trying to understand my daughter, but also understand my part in what made her her. We all own some responsibility. But, although I can accept that I may have hurt my daughter, I know that addiction was her choice. Anyway the point that I am trying to make is to not overreact to seeing the book. It just may be one step in his recovery, does not mean that he views you that way. Maybe he is just trying to understand himself. Wait a while, do nothing and see what happens. Hugs, Marle
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:23 AM
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i think maybe it would help if you could read the book yourself, it maybe talking about something entirely different from what you think it is. they have a new baby, could be that they want to learn how not to be toxic parents. i think maybe your thoughts on seeing the title of the book may have been what is bothering you.

i've read a book once on toxic relationships and my reason being was that i just want to know what was considered a toxic relationship, not that i thought i had one, i just didn't know what it was and i like learning and reading all i can get my hands on.

i'm sure that you have been a great mom. try not to awfulize the situation just yet, maybe you can talk to your son and asked him how he felt about the book, it may not be as bad as you think. sorry that the title of the book made you feel angry. i pray that you feel better soon.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:31 AM
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remember to breathe
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dixied, I can certainly feel with you. my ras has 86 days drug free today, he is 22, and my youngest, I have been there for him every step of the way from catching him and forcing sobriety, paying bills for him, paying for rehabs and medicines you name it I did it for him (most of this is pre SR website) anyway, we have always been very close until recently, he now seems to avoid me, instead he'll sit and talk with his father (that almost never happened) when he and I do talk it usually ends up in a debate even over television shows. I don't know exactly what has happened but I came to my own conclusion that he feels that I know him better than he knows himself and because he is trying to get control over his own life now that I must be playing some alfa dog role. I don't say anything because like you I feel as a mother as long as he's sober thats good enough for me. perhaps sometime in the future it'll be discussed, but for now sobriety is just fine and dandy.
so with all this said, try to see the big picture, ( I know it's hard ) but lets face it, we've been through worse haven't we.

we all love ya and respect you and so does your son.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:50 AM
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Get Caught Reading
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Don't take it personally.
As Marle said, "We all own some responsibility".
Not saying we were bad parents, just that, maybe, your ras wants to figure out
where his addictive tendencies came from. It could have been within the family, grandparents, kids at school, family get togethers, ect. All combined.
I know that when my sober daughter started suffering panic attacks, she began seeing a therapist, and was given Labator (sp?) to relieve the attacks.
I did not take offense. I take responsibility in part, because I believe she is suffering from, what's called "separation anxiety".
Heck, I'm suffering from it too. lol
When we moved back to our home state, she decided to stay in Pa.
She had a job, an apartment, and a gf.
She quit her job and didn't work for 3 months. Add the fact that she had no family nearby, and Bam! Instant anxiety.
When we spoke on the phone, which was too often, imho, I would give her my opinions and, what was probably, much unneeded advice.
Her therapist recently asked her why she has to speak on the phone with her mother 2-3 times a day. She couldn't answer. I know the therapist is right.
We don't need to "chat" that often. I know she needs to "fly" on her own.
I've always felt overprotective of my kids. Maybe too much. It comes from my mother and the way I was raised. My mother was an alcoholic. I never wanted to be that "distant" with my own kids.
I have made many mistakes, and I have learned/still learning from them.
Yet, I am a good mom.
Btw, my son is the addict. He's 25 and we talk every day still. He no longer does dope, but drinks occasionally.
I have learned that guilt does no one any good at all.
In fact, I would applaud my kids for reading material that will help them to understand themselves better. Heck, I'd buy it for'em, if I knew it would help them.
Be happy he's delving into the "self", and no longer delving into drugs.
Jmo. Take what you need and leave the rest.
All said with love and understanding.
Hugs from one "toxic" mom to another. lol
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:14 AM
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I thank all of you frm the bottom of my heart for your replies . It has just been rough and to tell you the truth I have not so much anger as hurt and then those old feelings of being "used and abused" surface. I was just lied to for so long and when the truth came out I still stood by him and finally doing the tough love which was hard. My telling him he had two choices (1) rehab or (2) my signing papers for him to go to jail. To be honest when a mom (IMHO) has to do that then the relationship probably takes some time to heal anyway, right? Things are just so different. And maybe different is moving forward. At least that is how I am trying to see it. I do know that for so long he has been manipulative and maybe it's me but I don't think that behaviour goes away over night. Not even in six months sober. (my opinion)
My therapist said to remember that there is living clean and then there is living clean AND sober and that it is entirely two different lifestyles. I guess what I'll do is pray for the best for him and limit my contact for a while. Maybe my form of self-protection. thank you again......dixie
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:14 PM
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Dixie, If you still have issues of trust, then maybe it is better to limit time spent with him. I know that if my daughter were to get clean, I would still force myself to keep my distance. I still don't trust myself not to tell her what to do or be hurt by things that might come up. When I see her now, we can connect for just a short time and then we end up in some kind of an argument. I still want to control things and at almost 21, my daughter has the right to make her own decisions, even bad ones. Hugs, Marle
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Old 05-04-2007, 03:17 PM
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Six months sober is almost nothing in the grand scheme of things.

I know I believed I was TERRIBLY wronged by my alcoholic parents. They never seemed to see any of it, or accept much in the way of blame.

Today, I see my parents VERY much differently. I know they did the best they could with what they knew AND they gave me more than they ever had. I love them very much.

Perhaps it will take reading that book for your son to understand what he DOES have to be grateful for.... and besides, my sponsor always tellsm what other people think of me.... is none of my business.

Hope today goes better.
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Old 05-04-2007, 06:35 PM
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I'm no angel!
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I read anything and everything to find answers to my issues. I have that book, and I have related it to all my toxic relationships, both with my parents and others. Perhaps they are like me, and, searching for answers.

No matter how right parents think they are, and how they have done everything right there are issues they cannot see, cannot accept. Does that make them a bad parents, no, it just means we all make mistakes and we all need to grow, to do better.

Perhaps you should read the book and not take just the presentation of the book as a negative.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:00 PM
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thank you dolly. I appreciate what you said. I know there is a lot of truth in what you said. It is just that I have tried so hard, hung in there for so long, and taken a lot of trips down a bumpy road that i thought after all of that here he is reading something like that. I should not have judged him. To be honest, I think it just hurt with all of the things I have been through lately. I am (for the time being) going to keep my distance though. I will be available but Iam going to focus more on doing things for myself. I do thank you for your post. dixie
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:24 PM
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i do not know the book but it could very well be that he will read domething in that book that explains how we r detacting with love.who know?? prayers for you both,
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:30 PM
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((((HUGS))))) Don't let it bother you--he is in recovery now and I am sure you have a lot to do with helping with that--look on the positive side of it!
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:45 PM
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rashue sounds like she is living in my house! I have the same 'alientation' (or that is what it feels like to me) taking place with my 23 yr old son .....he was supposed to be the sober one, the one who would never do drugs, but got hooked on pain meds in college sports - and I didn't know. The kids who used to be my best friend now has no time for me, is mean and hurtful, and playing the 'alpha dog' role with his dad. neither see's anything wrong with it. I will say 'Toxic parents' sounds like a book at some point I should read, it might be a healing point for me.
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:11 PM
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I have to agree with everyone else. I also know there were things I did as a parent that I now regret. Long ago. And if he's new to recovery, he's hearing all kinds of things out there. And getting all kinds of "advice". That book is one of the "biggies" in recovery. We also seem to have the "flavor of the month". I remember not too many years ago where we all were blaming our parents for everything that went wrong in our lives. And that book was big then. I would, however, back off, if it makes you feel better. Early recovery is NOT a bed of roses. I was told that the first YEAR is awful. So, you are in the middle of his first year. If the book doesn't fit, don't take it on.

Easier said than done.

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Old 05-05-2007, 12:23 PM
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dixied...........try not to take it personally. Since he is in recovery and if the book is not for his own parenting info, it could be a good tool for him. It doesn't mean that you were the toxic role model in his life. Maybe he is just trying to understand how he got to a bad place in the first place. I'm all for whatever would help my AD. If she needed to read about my parenting skills to find out if something went wrong then so be it. I know that I have done the best job that I knew how to do. I always gave more than 100% to her. That is how I saw myself........maybe she saw something else. I'm sure you gave more than 100% to your son. Please don't take it personal if he is wondering if somewhere something went wrong, please give him that right as a part of his recovery. It is not worth adding a problem to a relationship that is rebuilding. If he has a question about your parenting skills........let him approach you. He probably won't have to.
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:03 PM
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Dixie, There is such a thing called the Karpman (sp?) drama triangle. If you google it you can read about it. Basically it says that we, the helper, end up being persecuted by those we save for saving them. It really makes sense. My daughter and I have played it out many times and I always end up being persecuted for helping and then going into the victim mode. It is worth reading for anyone who has ever thought that saving someone was the answer to their problems. A good reason to let our loved ones work out their own issues. Hugs, Marle
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:56 PM
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marle and others,

there is so much going on in my life that I think I am on overload and probably overly sensitive. i think back on how i tried to teach my son what it true and right in this life. how to conduct himself with honesty and integrity. he told us at one time he got really drunk and used crack for the first time. to myself I thought ......where were you consorting with what kind of people? where was your good sense when people around you started using an illegal and unlawful drug that you thought it was okay to stay and do what they were doing? that is when I felt I had fallem down on my parenting. that I had not taught him what was right........then all of the lying came out, all the stealing surfaced, all the dishonesty and I just wanted to give up. I had thought I had taught him to make good decisions. I had tried to live a decent life and teach him the same. The sad part was that unknown to me , our family and an innocent young woman he had married he was a full blown addict. He had so much destruction around him. I pray for him even today but the feelings are just not the same and that book titie just seemed to reinforce everything...all of the hurt. I just hope someone out there can understand what I am trying to put into words. Now he will forever more have this monkey (i.e. addicition) on his back. My dh says if he never had picked it up he wouldn't have had to put it down........just a lot of emotion in me right now......sorry for my ranting....dixie
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Old 05-05-2007, 03:02 PM
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I do understand what you are saying. When they are in active addiction they spend so much time trying to make it about us. And then we put so much guilt on ourselves. I don't know how much time I spent examining my mistakes instead of my successes. There were far more good times than bad times, but because the last 2+ years have been about her addiction, it is hard to remember the good times. I understand your sensitivity. My daughter can still pull my chains. I think we who love addicts go through so many emotions during their active period. Then they find recovery and the rules are suddenly different. Even in recovery it is still all about them. Take some time and sort out your feelings. If your son is truly committed to his recovery, one of these days he will make amends to you. It is still early, he has a lot of changing to still do. Hugs, Marle P.S. The hardest thing for me to stomach about my daughter's addiction is her loss of integrity.
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Old 05-05-2007, 03:12 PM
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There are some good books that you could read. One I liked was, When Your Grown Children Disappoint You and the other is by Mark Sichel who is on these forums, Healing from Family Rifts. They both helped me. Hugs, Marle
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Old 05-05-2007, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by marle View Post
There are some good books that you could read. One I liked was, When Your Grown Children Disappoint You and the other is by Mark Sichel who is on these forums, Healing from Family Rifts. They both helped me. Hugs, Marle
Dixied, I doubt he meant for you to see that. BUT, if he did, I'd be sure to leave out a copy of "When your Grown Children Disappoint You" the next time he's at your place :-)
Kids are inheritently selfish, no matter how old they get or how much recovery under the belt. It's so much easier to blame someone else for your own problems, than to take responsibility yourself. I know I still blame my parents for many probs I have and I'm 55 yrs. old!
I know it's hard, but try not to take it personally. We are each individually responsible for our own peace of mind and happiness, so in this case, I would concentrate on how happy you are that he's sober and let the rest go.
**{Hugs}} Barb
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